History of San Diego, 1542-1908
PART TWO: CHAPTER 12: American Families of the Early Time
It will now be in order to give some account of the early American settlers of San Diego, before proceeding to tell the story of the new city. A few who came before the Mexican War have already been sketched and the Spanish families are grouped in Chapter VI, Part II. Some of the names appearing in this chapter may be strange to the present generation, though familiar to older settlers. The necessity of compressing this history into one volume of moderate size renders it impossible to do full justice to all these pioneers. The most essential facts have been condensed and arranged with a view to giving as much information as possible concerning them, in a brief and impartial manner.
AMES, Julian. Was a sailor from Amesbury, Mass., and said to have been an uncle of the well known Oakes Ames. He married, in Lower California, a lady named Espiñosa. He was an otter hunter in 1846, and served as a volunteer in the Mexican War. He held some offices at an early day, including that of city trustee in 1853 and 1855. About 1859 or 1860, he settled on E1 Cajon ranch, where he died in February, 1866. His children were: Francisco, who lives in Lower California: Sam, who married Adelaide, a daughter of José Antonio Serrano, and lives in Lower California; José, who married María, daughter of José Machado, and lived and died at Lakeside; Mary, who married James Flynn; and Nievas, who married Charles Greenleaf, of Lakeside.
BEAN, Joshua H. Settled in San Diego during the military occupation and was a prominent citizen. He served as alcalde in 1850 and as mayor in the same year, being the last alcalde and the first mayor of San Diego. While mayor, he signed the deed for the “Middletown Addition,” May 27, 1850. He removed to Los Angeles in 1851, and at the time of the Garra Insurrection was major-general of State Militia and came to San Diego to preside over the courtmartial. He kept a store at San Gabriel and was a prominent citizen of Southern California. He was killed, in November, 1852, by Mexican ruffians, near Los Angeles.
BOGART, Captain J. C. Captain Bogart was one of the earliest visitors, touching here in 1834, in the ship Black Warrior. In 1852 he became the agent of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company at La Playa, with headquarters on the hulk Clarissa Andrews, and held the position many years. He represented the county in the State Senate in 1862-3, and was actively connected with the San Diego & Gila Railroad project. He was unmarried. In 1873 he revisited San Diego and gave some interesting reminiscences.
BUSH, Thomas Henry. Judge Bush was born in Pennsylvania, June 8, 1831, and came to California in 1853. He learned the bookbinder’s trade, which he followed in San Francisco, and also engaged in mining and kept a store in Lower California. He came to San Diego in 1865, where at first he kept a store, and in 1868 became postmaster. In the same year he was appointed county judge to fill the unexpired term of Julio Osuña, and held the office eight years. He was also school trustee and city trustee; in the latter capacity, he was instrumental in selling the city lands to Horton, and signed the deed. From 1878 to 1887, he was absent from San Diego, prospecting and visiting in his native state. In his later days, he engaged in the real estate business, was a notary, and secretary of the San Diego Society of Pioneers. He died December 17, 1898.
He married Ellen Augusta Porter. They had one daughter, Bertha, born in San Francisco in 1863. Miss Porter was an early teacher at Old Town.
Judge Bush was not a lawyer, and might, perhaps, have made a more satisfactory record as a judge had he been one. At the time of the agitation for the removal of the county seat from Old Town to Morton’s Addition, he showed decided bias in favor of the Old Town faction, and the people of New San Diego always remembered it.
CASSIDY, Andrew. A native of County Cavan, Ireland. He came to America when 17 and was employed three years at West Point, in the Engineering Corps, under General George B. McClellan. He then went to Washington and entered the employ of the Coast Survey Office, under Professor Bache. About a year later, he was one of a party sent to the Pacific Coast under Lieutenant W. T. Trowbridge. They reached San Francisco in July, 1853, and a month later came to San Diego, established a tidal gauge at La Playa, and left Cassidy in charge. He remained in charge of this tidal gauge, and of meteorological observations, for seventeen years, and also gave considerable attention to collecting specimens for the Smithsonian Institution.
In 1864, Mr. Cassidy became owner of the Soledad Rancho, containing 1,000 acres, where the town of Sorrento is situated, and engaged in the live stock business until in 1887, when he sold the property. He is also a property owner in San Diego.
His first wife was Rosa Serrano, daughter of José Antonio Serrano, who died September 10, 1869. He married, second, Diary Smith, daughter of Albert B. Smith, who is now deceased. They had one daughter, Mary Winifred. Mr. Cassidy is still living, a respected citizen of San Diego. He held several public offices at an early day. He was a member of the Board of Public Works as late as his 88th year.
CLAYTON, Henry. Came to San Diego with the boundary commission as a surveyor. He married the widow of Captain Joseph F. Snook (María Antonia Alvarado de Snook). They are both deceased and left no children. Clayton held the office of city surveyor for a short time in 1850, and was the first county surveyor, serving for several terms in the 50’s and 60’s.
CONNORS, James W. A soldier who came to San Diego with Magruder’s Battalion in 1850. He married Harriet Vandergrift, sister of Richard Kerren’s wife. He was deputy sheriff seven years under James McCoy and still lives in Coronado. His son, George A. Connors, married Isabel Smith, daughter of A. B. Smith. She is now deceased; he is still living; they had three children: James W. Connors, Jr., married Helen Minter and lives in Old Town. Has four children. William E. Connors, married first, a Minter, who died; married second, Dolores Alvarado. Has one child, living at Whittier; employed at reform school. Paul S. Connors, married Mary N. Stewart, daughter of John C. Stewart. Lives at Old Town. Is night watchman at the court house, San Diego; has been postmaster at Old Town, where he keeps a store. Has two children living, one dead. Hattie Connors, married Ben Lyons; lives at Coronado. Sarah Connors, married first, Dr. Edward Burr; second, Angelo Smith. Dead. Mary J. Connors, died in a Los Angeles school. Unmarried.
COUTS, Cave Johnson. Born near Springfield, Tennessee, November 11, 1821. His uncle, Cave Johnson, was Secretary of the Treasury under President Polk, and had him appointed to West Point, where he graduated in 1843. He served on the frontier until after the Mexican War, and was then at Los Angeles, San Luis Rey, and San Diego from 1848 to 1851. In 1849 he conducted the Whipple expedition to the Colorado River.
On April 5, 1851, he married Ysidora Bandini, daughter of Juan Bandini, of San Diego. In October of the same year he resigned from the army, and was soon after appointed colonel and aid-de-camp on the staff of Governor Bigler. In the Garra insurrection he served as adjutant, and at the courtmartial was judge-advocate. He was a member of the first grand jury September, 1850, and county judge in 1854. In 1853 he removed to a tract known as the Gaujome grant, a wedding gift to his wife from her brother-in-law, Abel Stearns. Having been appointed sub-agent for the San Luis Rey Indians, Colonel Couts was able to secure all the cheap labor needed for the improvement of his property. His business affairs were managed with skill and military precision, and he became one of the wealthiest men in Southern California. He purchased the San Marcos, Buena Vista, and La Jolla ranchos, and also government land, amounting in all to about 20,000 acres. His home was widely celebrated for its hospitality. He entertained Helen Hunt Jackson while she was collecting materials for Ramona, and part of the story is supposed to be laid at the Gaujome rancho. As Colonel Couts’s wealth consisted largely of cattle, the passage of the “no fence” law was a severe blow to him and one from which he never fully recovered. He died at the Horton House, in San Diego, June 10, 1874. He was over six feet tall, perfectly straight, and weighed 165 pounds. He was a man of good education, strict integrity, and gentlemanly manners. His widow continued to live on the rancho and manage it until her death.
Their children were ten, of whom nine lived to maturity: Abel Stearns, who died in 1855, aged nearly four years; María Antonia, who was married to Chalmers Scott, and still lives in San Diego; William Bandini, who married Christina, daughter of Salvador Estudillo, and is a farmer living near San Marcos; Ysidora Forster, who was married to W. D. Gray; Elena, married to Parker Dear and lived several years on the Santa Rosa rancho; Robert Lee; John Forster, and Caroline.
COUTS, William B. Brother of Cave J. Couts, married a daughter of Santiago E. Argüello. He was county clerk and recorder in 1855-6-7-8 postmaster in 1858, justice of the peace in 1861, etc. In 1857 he seems to have held nearly all the county offices at one time, if credit is to be given the Herald of April 27th in that year. His son, George A. Couts, is a San Diego city policeman.
CROSTHWAITE, Philip. Was born December 27, 1825, in Athy, County Kildare, Ireland, where his parents were visiting their old home, they having emigrated to the United States some years before. On their return to America, Philip was left in the care of his grandparents, and lived with them until 16, when he visited his mother. In 1843 he returned to Ireland to complete his education, and entered Trinity College, Dublin. His grandmother died in 1845 and he thereupon came to America for a second visit, intending to return and complete his education. But while in Philadelphia, he met a young man from Boston with whom he struck up an acquaintance, and for a “lark” these two determined to take a short sea voyage. Going to Newport, R. I., they shipped on board the schooner Hopewell, Captain Littlefield, supposing they were bound on a fishing trip to the Newfoundland banks. To their dismay, after reaching the open sea, they found the ship was booked for San Francisco. They begged so hard to be put ashore that the captain finally promised to allow them to return by the first ship they met; but Crosthwaite related it as a singular circumstance that they never saw another sail from that day until they reached the Bay of San Diego.
Crosthwaite and his friend, Rhead, deserted here and waited until the Hopewell had departed. A ship bound for the East came along soon after, but there was room for only one; there was a toss-up for the vacant berth, and Crosthwaite losing, he gave up all thought of leaving San Diego. He was strong and adventurous and made his way. In 1846, when the Mexican War broke out, he was on an otter hunting expedition on the Lower California coast, with Julian Ames, John Post, John C. Stewart, and William Curley. Learning of the war at the Santa Rosario Mission, they all returned to San Diego and served in the San Pasqual campaign. They reached the town late at night, and early the next morning were awakened by a thundering knock at the door. It was Captain Gillespie, who said: “There can be no neutrals in this country; you must either enlist for three months (as the war will probably be over by that time), or be imprisoned on the Congress.” He intended to enlist, anyway, but the choice was made easy. A good deal of the local color concerning the San Pasqual campaign has been derived from his accounts of it. He was in the midst of it from beginning to end, and was slightly wounded by Pico’s rangers in the slaughter of December 6th. After the troops left for the capture of Los Angeles, he performed garrison duty until the close of the war.
In 1851, Crosthwaite served in the Garra Insurrection, with the rank of third sergeant. After these troubles, he was the mainstay of the citizens in preserving the peace, at the time when the San Francisco “Hounds” were terrorizing the town, and was seriously wounded in the discharge of his duty, as has been related.
He held a number of offices at an early day, being the first county treasurer, deputy sheriff several years, and sheriff one or two terms. He was also school commissioner in 1850, county clerk and recorder in 1853-4, and justice of the peace in 1854. He lived for several years in Mission Valley, above Old Town, and later owned the San Miguel Rancho in Lower California. He was lessee of the San Diego Mission in 1848, and later went to the mines. He also kept a store in Old Town, and later in new San Diego, in partnership with Mr. Whaley. His old ledger, kept in 1853, is now owned by Mr. Joseph Jessop, and shows many curious things. The first entry in it shows the sale of over $200 worth of provisions to Lieutenant Derby, for the use of the Indians working on the San Diego River dam. The prices charged are also very interesting, now.
He purchased the San Miguel Rancho in 1861 and removed to Lower California, but still spent much of his time in San Diego. He was an active and earnest Freemason, and the first Worshipful Master of San Diego Lodge No. 35—the oldest lodge in the Southwest. When Lieutenant Derby left San Diego, he presented Crosthwaite with the Past Master’s jewel, which the latter later gave to his beloved lodge, and which is now a cherished item of their furniture.
He married Josefa Lopez, a daughter of Bonifacio Lopez, of San Diego, 1848. They had a large family, of which seven sons and two daughters survived him. His daughter Mary was married to J. N. Briseño, of San Diego, but the others live in Lower California. He died in San Diego, February 19, 1903. Mrs. Wm. Jeff Gatewood was his sister. It is said he had nearly fifty grandchildren at the time of his death.
Crosthwaite was a well built man, with a full beard and a remarkably deep voice. It is related that an uncle by marriage, Mr. Hempstead, stopping off at La Playa on his way to San Francisco in the 50’s, recognized him by his voice, though he had not seen him for years. He was known to be an utterly fearless man, whose courage was proved in many hard encounters. He was a man of strong character and had enemies as well as friends. Part of these troubles were due to religious differences, he being an Episcopalian and his wife a Catholic. He was fond of telling his recollections of early days and his stories were not always accurate or free from prejudice. He was fond of a joke, and it has been said that he carried this propensity into his tales of old times; but a careful study of them shows clearly enough that the inaccuracies and discrepancies are no more than was natural with one who talks a good deal and whose memory is not remarkable for its accuracy. That Crosthwaite had some faults is doubtless true, but he was beyond question a strong, resolute man, well fitted for the rough life of his time.
CURLEY, William. Was an otter hunter with Crosthwaite and others, in 1846. Served as a volunteer in the Mexican War. He was an elector at San Diego, April 1, 1850. Married Ramona Alipás, daughter of Damasio and Juana Machado de Alipás (later the wife of Thomas Wrightington), in 1844. He was drowned in December, 1856, on the beach near Point Loma, while out otter hunting with an Indian. His widow afterward married William Williams, and moved to Los Angeles.
DARNELL (or Darnall), Thomas R. Kept a store in San Diego in the early 50’s; his store was robbed in February, 1856. In the following March he was chosen city trustee. He was an organizer of the San Diego & Gila Railroad Company. He was unmarried. Was Worshipful Master of the Masonic Lodge in 1858. He left San Diego soon after the latter year.
ENSWORTH, A. S. “Squire” Ensworth came to San Diego as a teamster in government employ. He was elected justice of the peace in 1856 and assemblyman in 1859. He was a “self-made man,” who studied law after being elected justice, and later engaged in the practice of law, with considerable success. He was quite a reader and had a large library, for the times. He died in a hospital at Los Angeles.
FERRELL, William C. This pioneer came from North Carolina, where he had two daughters living. He settled at San Diego about 1850, and at the first election, held in that year, was chosen district attorney. He was a lawyer of ability and a useful member of the community. He was one of the founders of new San Diego, with Davis and others. In 1852 he was appointed collector of the port and served one year. In 1854 he was assessor and school commissioner, and, the following year, served as assemblyman. In 1858 he was a city trustee; and in 1859 district attorney again. In December of the last named year, he went to Reventadero, near Descanso, Lower California, where he lived the life of a recluse until his death. The reason for this action is somewhat obscure, but the traditional reason is at least plausible. It is said that, being a somewhat testy man and having set his heart upon winning a certain case, it was decided against him; whereupon, he became enraged, banged his books down upon the table, and declared that, since he could not get justice in this country, he would quit it, and proceeded to do so. There is evidence that he left in haste a document on file in the county clerk’s office containing directions for the settlement of a number of small accounts, for the disposal of his personal effects, etc. His San Diego friends kept him supplied with reading, and when they visited him, found him always well informed and, apparently, happy. The newspapers of the time contain many references to Ferrell, how he watched over San Diego from his mountain fastness, etc. He died June 8, 1883.
FRANKLIN, Lewis A. Came to San Diego in the summer of 1851, with George H. Davis, in a trading vessel from San Francisco. They decided to remain, and their San Francisco representative, Thomas Whaley, followed in October, and he and Franklin opened the Tienda California (California Store). This partnership was dissolved in April, 1852, Franklin retiring.
In 1851, he served in the Garra campaign, as a second lieutenant. With his brother Maurice, he built the Franklin House, which was long a prominent landmark. He also practiced law in the 50’s.
FITCH, Henry D. Captain Fitch was a native of New Bedford, Mass. In 1826-30, he was master of the Mexican brig Maria Ester, calling at California ports. In 1827 he announced his intention of becoming a Mexican citizen and was naturalized in 1833. He was baptized at San Diego in 1829 as Enrique Domingo Fitch. His elopement with Señorita Josefa Carrillo is related elsewhere. In 1830-31 he was master of the Leonor and brought 50 Mexican convicts to San Diego, where 23 of them remained. He kept a general store in Old Town for many years and in 1845 this was the only store in the place; there had been some other small shops previously. He bought and sold hides, tallow, and furs, outfitted otter hunters, and made trading voyages along the coast. At different times he was a partner of Stearns, McKinley, Temple and Paty. He was San Diego’s first syndico, in 1835, and held other public offices. In 1845, he made the first survey and map of the pueblo lands. In 1841 he received a grant of the Sotoyomi Rancho, in Sonoma County, and began to develop his interests there. He died in San Diego in 1849, and was the last person buried on Presidio Hill. The family removed to the ranch near Healdsburg soon after his death, and continue to reside there. Fitch Mountain, in Sonoma County, was named for him. Mrs. Fitch died at the age of 82, having kept her faculties remarkably to the end.
Their children were eleven in number, as follows: Henry E., born in 1830; Fred., 1832; William, 1834; Joseph, 1836; Josefa, 1837; John B., 1839; Isabella, 1840; Charles, 1842; Michael, 1844; María Antonia Natalia, 1845; and Anita, 1848.
The estimates of his character vary somewhat, but are mostly favorable. Dana hints that he was coarse, and perhaps he was somewhat so, according to that young man’s standards; old sea captains were not then noted for their polish. The testimony is clear however, that he was an honorable, popular, and influential man and a useful citizen.
FORSTER, John. Often called Don Juan Forster, was born in England in 1815. He came to Guaymas in 1831 and two years later to California, settling at Los Angeles. In 1844 he removed to San Juan Capistrano and purchased the ex-mission lands there, where he lived for twenty years. In 1845 he was grantee of the National Rancho. In 1864, having sold the latter place, he bought the Santa Margarita Rancho from Pio Pico and spent his remaining days there. He was for many years a man of great wealth and lived and entertained in generous style; but in later years his affairs became involved and he died comparatively poor. He had not much liking for politics, but gave considerable attention to a number of colonization schemes, none of which he was able to carry to a successful conclusion. He died February 20, 1882. He was a useful and highly respected citizen.
In 1837, he married Isadora Pico, sister of Pio and Andrés Pico. They had six children, some of whom are still living in San Diego County.
GITCHELL, J. R. One of the ablest of early lawyers. Was the first attorney of the San Diego & Gila Railroad, and drew its charter. He was district attorney in 1856-7-8, and was a prominent member of the Masonic order. He left San Diego and settled in Los Angeles.
GRAY, Andrew B. In addition to his service on the boundary commission, Lieutenant Gray was one of the founders of new San Diego, and probably the original initiator of the project. He was a surveyor of more than ordinary ability, and made a survey for the old Southern Pacific Railroad on the 32d parallel in 1854, as far as the Colorado River; from that point, he made only a reconnaissance into San Diego, but it was sufficient to demonstrate the feasibility of the route. His report was published in 1856, and is a very valuable document. During the Civil War, he became a major-general in the Confederate Army.
GROOM, Robert W. Was a competent surveyor and a man of good sense and high standing. He filled the office of county surveyor in 1856, 1859, 1861-2-3, and was assemblyman in 1858 and 1860. He then went to Arizona.
HAYS, John. First county judge of San Diego County, and county treasurer in 1853. He came from Texas, where he had been an actor in the early troubles. His farm and fish-pond on Point Loma are described by Lieutenant Derby. He died May 24, 1857, having broken his neck by walking over a steep bank while on his way home, at night.
He was an elector in 1850, and a director of the San Diego & Gila Railroad from its organization in November, 1854,
HOFFMAN, Dr. David B. This name first appears on the records on December 1, 1855, and in that and the following years he served as coroner. He was admitted to practice law, April 1, 1856, and in 1859, 1860, and 1861 served as district attorney. In 1857 he was town trustee, in 1862 assemblyman, in 1865 school trustee, and in 1868 Democratic presidential elector for California. He was collector of the port from 1869 to 1872, and also acted as tidal gauger. His wife’s name was Maria Dolores, daughter of Peter Wilder and Guadalupe Machado who died August 12, 1887. He died in 1888, leaving a son named Chauncey, also a daughter, Miss Virginia Hoffman. He was a good physician and a much respected citizen.
ISRAEL, Captain Robert D. Is one of the few “real pioneers” still living. He is a native of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Served in the Mexican War, in the Second Division, in the Rifles, and saw much hard service. Immediately after being mustered out, in 1848, he came to San Diego. He lived at Old Town several years, engaged in blacksmithing, keeping a saloon, and doing contracting with his brother, Joseph H. Israel. He became keeper of the lighthouse on June 14, 1871, and served until January 6, 1892. He was orderly sergeant in the Garra campaign and in charge of the firing squad which executed that brave man. He served as policeman and jailor in the early 50’s, in 1858 was justice of the peace, and in 1865 school trustee. He married María Arcadia Alipás, daughter of Damasio and Juana Machado de Alipás, Their children are: Henry C., Joseph P. (died young), Robert L., and Joseph P., second. Since 1895 he has lived in Coronado. His memory is clear and his stories of early days most interesting and valuable.
JOHNSON, Captain George A. Captain Johnson is one of the best remembered of old San Diegans. He owned the Peñasquitas Rancho and was a large rancher and cattle raiser, and also largely interested in the Colorado Steam Navigation Company. He served as assemblyman for San Diego County in 1863 and 1867.
KELLY, Robert. A native of the Isle of Man, where he was born in 1825. Came to America while young and lived in New York and New Orleans. In 1850 he came west to the Colorado River and built a ferry-boat for the use of the government engineers. It was made of cottonwood timber, sawed by hand. He soon after came to San Diego and helped build the Davis wharf, in 1850-1. In 1852 he became, with Colonel Eddy, the owner of the Jamacha grant. They raised rye, wheat, oats, barley, and potatoes on 300 acres, and this was among the earliest successful agriculture in San Diego County. In 1857 he sold his ranch and engaged in mercantile business with Frank Ames at Old Town. In 1860 he again engaged in cattle raising with F. Hinton, on the Agua Hedionda Rancho, and later became sole owner of the rancho and made it his home. He served as juez de paz. In 1856 he was attacked by bandits and seriously wounded. He owned considerable real estate in new San Diego and was an enterprising and public spirited citizen. He was never married. Mr. Charles Kelly, at present a member of the common council of San Diego, is his nephew.
KURTZ, Daniel Brown. Mr. Kurtz was the second mayor of San Diego, succeeding General Bean in 1851. He was born in Pennsylvania in 1819, and came to San Diego in June, 1850; studied law under J. R. Gitchell and was admitted to practice in 1856. He was state senator in 1852 and 1855, county judge in 1855-6, but resigned in the latter year; assemblyman in 1861 and 1865-6, and president of the town trustees in 1862. He was appointed brigadier-general of State Militia by the governor in July, 1856. Was a director of the old San Diego & Gila Railroad in October, 1855. He was a carpenter and did considerable contracting at Old Town and elsewhere. He removed to San Luis Rey in 1866, and resided there until his death, which occurred March 30, 1898.
LYONS, George. A native of Donegal, Ireland, who came to San Diego in 1847. He had been carpenter on board a whaler on the Northwest coast. He kept a store in Old Town from 1851 to 1858. In the latter year he was elected sheriff and served two terms, until 1862, when he was succeeded by James McCoy. He was city trustee and postmaster in 1853-4, trustee again in 1855, etc. He was also a director of the San Diego & Gila Railroad from its organization in 1854.
In 1850, he married Bernarda Billar, daughter of Lieutenant Billar, at one time commandant of the San Diego Presidio. They had ten children, seven sons and three daughters. Their eldest son, William J. Lyons, married Sarah Ames. He was associated with H. A. Howard in the real estate business in boom days, and the Souvenir, published by the firm of Howard & Lyons, consisting of advertisements written for them by Thomas L. Fitch, is famous. He has also been largely interested in mining in the Alamo district, Lower California. His daughter, Mary Dolores, was married to J. B. Hinton. She is now deceased. They had no children.
Son, Benj. Lyons, married Hattie Connors, daughter of Jas. W. Connors. They live at Coronado and have three children.
George Lyons is one of the best known of the few survivors of the days before the 50’s.
MANNASSE, Joseph S. A native of Prussia, who came to San Diego in 1853 and opened a store. He began with small capital, but prospered and soon became a large dealer. In 1856 he formed a partnership with Marcus Schiller, which continued many years. In 1868 the firm started a lumber yard at the foot of Atlantic and E Streets, and soon after bought and stocked the Encinitos Rancho. They built up a large business, but suffered severely in the drought and hard times and the early 70’s, also in the great fire at Old Town in April, 1872. They laid out and sold Mannasse & Schiller’s Addition, one of the earliest additions after Horton came. In later years, Mr. Mannasse’s principal business was that of broker and collector. He was a public spirited citizen; served as city trustee two or three terms, and was president of that body when Horton made his purchase, but did not sign the deed. On account of his small stature he was called Mannasse Chico, or Mannasito.
He married Hannah Schiller, a sister of his partner. They had one daughter, Cilita Mannasse. Mr. Mannasse died December 26, 1897.
McCOY, James. A native of County Antrim, Ireland, born August 12, 1821. Came to America in 1842, and in 1849 became a member of Magruder’s Battery, and accompanied it to San Diego. He was stationed at San Luis Rey, with a small squad, for over two years, and had some experience in Indian warfare. In 1859 he was elected county assessor and in 1861 sheriff. To the latter office he was re-elected five times and served until 1871, when he became state senator. He was a city trustee for fourteen years and took an active part in the public movements of his day.
In 1868, he married Winifred Kearny. who survived him. She is now Mrs. F. D. Murtha. They had no children.
Mr. McCoy was a man of strong personality. He had his friends, also some bitter enemies. While city trustee he was deeply involved, with Charles P. Taggart and others, in the tide lands speculation, over which a political controversy raged. The “tide landers” won at the polls, but the courts finally decided that the city had no title to the tide lands. Mr. McCoy was a man of considerable ability and a stanch friend of Old Town.
MINTER, John. According to the Herald, this man was attacked by an Indian and seriously cut in the left arm, in August, 1857. He married Serafina Wrightington, daughter of Thomas Wrightington, and they had a family of six children. He died several years ago. Had two daughters, one of whom, Ellen L., married Jas. W. Connors, Jr., and the other married his brother, William.
MOON, William H. A Georgian who settled at San Diego in 1849. He was an elector April 1, 1850, and a member of the first grand jury in September of that year. The records show that he was a justice of the peace and ex officio associate justice of the court of sessions, in 1850-1. He was a quaint character. He died February 3, 1859. He is the “Squire” to whom Derby refers, who:
“Goes ’round a-walkin’
And sasses all respectable persons
With his talk of pills he’s invented
To give a spirit of resentment.”
MORSE, Ephraim W. This sterling pioneer is deserving of more space than the limits of this work allow. He was not only one of the earliest American settlers, but one of the most public spirited and active workers for the building of the new city.
Mr. Morse was born October 16, 1823, in Amesbury, Massachusetts. He was a farmer and school teacher until the discovery of gold in California, when he caught the fever and joined a company formed for the purpose of emigrating to the coast. “This company,” he said “was intended to be, and was, a select company. No one could join without presenting satisfactory recommendations from the selectmen of the town, the mayor of their city, or some prominent preacher.” There were 100 of these associates. With their joint funds they bought the ship Leonore and freighted her with such goods as they thought would be salable. The constitution of the company was dated December 28, 1848, and stated that the organization was “for the purpose of buying and chartering a ship, and freighting her as the directors shall see fit, for the coast of California, and engaging in such trading and mining operations as shall be deemed most advisable.” The capital stock was $30,000, divided into 100 shares of $300 each. Each member undertook to give his personal time and attention to the interests of the company, not to engage in speculation on his own account, nor to assume any pecuniary liability without the company’s consent, nor to engage in any game of chance or skill by which money might be lost or won, nor to use any intoxicating liquors unless prescribed by a physician, all under penalty of a fine. Members were to be sustained and protected in sickness and interred at the company’s expense in case of death. No stockholder was to be allowed or required to perform any labor on the Sabbath, “except works of necessity and mercy.”
This company of highly proper young men were chiefly friends and neighbors of Mr. Morse’s. Among their occupations were the following: Farmers, teachers, carpenters, clerks, bookkeepers, bookbinders, masons, seamen, hatters, blacksmiths, geologists, sail-makers, joiners, stair-builders, traders, moulders, brass finishers, machinists, soap-makers, truckmen, laborers, curriers, civil engineers, shoemakers, tailors, chemists, harness-makers, saddlers, and weavers. (This reminds one of the days of the Híjar colony.) Before sailing, they attended a special religious service at Tremont Temple, in Boston, where the Rev. Edward Beecher delivered an address full of solemn admonitions; he seemed to regard them as the leaven of a moral reformation, of which California stood particularly in need. Mr. Morse’s papers include a copy of a pamphlet containing this address, with a list of the passengers, and much other curious information.
The Leonora sailed February 4, 1849, and after an uneventful voyage, reached San Francisco on July 5th. Here the ship and cargo were sold and the company dispersed to the mines, on the Yuba River. Mr. Morse had for a partner a man named Levi Slack. They found the hot weather and other climatic conditions trying, and after four or five months returned to San Francisco to recuperate. They had read Dana’s Two Years Before the Mast, and also met a man who had lived in San Diego and told them something about its climate. The partners therefore concluded to come to San Diego, and to bring with them a “venture,” consisting of a stock of goods for a general store, a ready-framed house, etc. They came on the bark Fremont, and arrived in April, 1850. Liking the place, they put up their house at Davistown and opened their store. The building was 20x30 feet, with an upstairs room, where they slept. Within a month after his arrival, Mr. Morse found his health completely restored. In 1851, he returned to Massachusetts by way of the Nicaraugua route, having a stormy and adventurous trip, but arrived safely. He married Miss Lydia A. Gray, of Amesbury, and while preparing to return to California with his wife, received news of the death of Mr. Slack and therefore hurried back to California, alone, leaving his wife to follow. He was absent all together six months, and returned in May, 1852. Mrs. Morse came out with Thomas Whaley and wife, the following year.
By April, 1853, the new town had begun to dwindle and, having an opportunity to become a partner with Mr. Whaley at Old Town, Mr. Morse removed to that place. They kept a general merchandise store in one of the adobe buildings on the plaza. In 1856 this partnership was dissolved and Morse kept his store alone for three years. He then disposed of his stock and went to Palomar to engage in stock raising and farming. In 1861 he returned to San Diego and again engaged in business as a merchant, in the old Rose House, beneath the Herald office, and was also agent for Wells, Fargo & Co.’s express. In June, 1869, he sold out his stock at Old Town to Philip Crosthwaite and removed to Horton’s Addition, taking the express office with him, much to the disgust of his old neighbors. From this time onward he was a resident and active worker for the new city.
In 1852, he was elected and served as associate justice of the court of sessions. He also became secretary of the board of trade and held the office twelve years. April 21, 1856, he was admitted to the practice of law. In 1858-9 he served as county treasurer, and again in 1861-2-3. In 1866-7 he was city trustee, and in the latter year was instrumental in selling the city’s lands to A. E. Horton. He had shown his faith in the new town by settling there upon his first arrival; and he now stood by Horton and did everything in his power to aid in building up the new addition.
From the time of his removal to Horton’s Addition he began to prosper and became a vital element in the life of the new town. In 1870 he was a leading spirit in the organization of the first bank in San Diego, the Bank of San Diego, which later was merged in the Consolidated National Bank, in both of which, as well as in the San Diego Savings Bank, he was continuously a director and officer. In 1871, he went to Washington city to represent San Diego in the matter of its pueblo lands, and argued the case with skill and ability. In company with James M. Pierce he built the handsome and substantial Pierce-Morse block on the northwest corner of Sixth and F Streets, and, in company with Messrs. Whaley and Dalton, the Morse, Whaley & Dalton block. At one time he was quite wealthy, but the collapse of the great boom hit him very hard, and he never fully recovered.
He was one of the prime movers in the organization of the San Diego & Gila Railroad and acted as a director and officer as long as the organization continued. He was also prominently connected with all other railroad projects from that time until his death, and probably knew the story of San Diego’s struggle for railroad facilities better than any other man. At the time the representatives of the Santa Fé came to San Diego, in October, 1879, he was secretary of the Citizens’ Committee, charged with the duty of furnishing the visitors with information. This duty he performed in a remarkably efficient manner, promptly producing everything called for, and answering all questions clearly and accurately. His associates testify that his great knowledge and untiring energy on this occasion were among the strongest elements contributing to the bringing of the railroad.
Among other activities, he was a member of the real estate firm of Morse, Noell & Whaley from 1880 to 1886, and for about a year longer of the firm of Morse, Whaley & Dalton. He was also connected with the San Diego Flume Company and made a considerable investment in it. He was public administrator in 1876-7. He had little taste for office, however, and only served when he felt it to be a duty. One of his greatest services was in connection with the park, which he was instrumental in having set aside. With characteristic steadfastness, he was a friend of the park to the end and stood up for its preservation and improvement, even when others weakened. He was a truly public spirited citizen, to whom no worthy enterprise or charity appealed in vain. He was an old and active Freemason and a member and officer of the first lodge formed in San Diego. He early learned the Spanish language and was regarded as a friend by the native population. Personally he was one of the most lovable of men, full of unaffected kindness and so unassuming that his real worth and the true value of his services were often not appreciated. He passed away on January 17, 1906, retaining his faculties in a remarkable degree to the last.
His first wife died at Old Town, in 1856. In 1865, while acting as school trustee (an office which he filled for several terms) he was instrumental in bringing here Miss Mary C. Walker, of Manchester, New Hampshire, to teach the Old Town school. The story of her troubles, and final resignation, has been told. On December 20, 1866, Mr. Morse and Miss Walker were married. By his first wife, he had one son, Edward W. Morse, who is a resident of Merrimac, Mass.
NOELL, Charles P. Born in Bedford County, Virginia, February 20, 1812. Came to California in November, 1848. He was a merchant in San Francisco until December, 1849, when he lost all he had in one of the great fires. In February, 1850, he came to San Diego and put up the first wooden building in the place. Here he conducted a general store, in partnership with Judge John Hays, for eighteen months. In company with M. M. Sexton and James Fitten, he bought a schooner in San Francisco, loaded it with a miscellaneous cargo, and went on a trading expedition up the Gulf of California. They bought a band of sheep in Sonora, shipped them across the gulf, and drove them to San Diego overland. This was the first large band of sheep ever brought to San Diego County. In 1853, he sold his interest in the store to Judge Hays. The following year, he was elected and served as assemblyman. He then went to South America and remained two or three years, prospecting for gold. In 1870 he came back to San Diego, but returned to Texas where he had a brother, and three years later settled in San Diego for good.
In 1850, he was one of the purchasers of the addition known as Middletown, and, some years later, this proved a profitable investment. He was in the real estate business in partnership with Morse and Whaley, from about 1880 to 1886, when he retired. He was a public spirited citizen and did much to aid in the development of the city. In 1850, he was chosen one of the first councilmen; while serving in that capacity, he did everything in his power to prevent the looting of the city treasury by the ring which were then in the majority. Finding he could accomplish nothing, he resigned, in disgust. Two years later, when the treasury was empty and the town impoverished by the folly of his opponents, he was chosen a member of the first hoard of trustees (the city charter having been abolished). He was never married. He died December 30, 1887, leaving a valuable estate, and a richer legacy in the esteem of his neighhors. On his monument is carved the words: “An Honest Man is the Noblest Work of God.” He deserves everlasting remembrance as the one honest and fearless man in San Diego’s first reign of graft.
NOYES, William H. Noyes was editor of the Herald on several occasions during Ames’s temporary absence, and once conducted the paper for a long period. He joined a company of volunteers and went to Arizona with them, a short time before the Civil War, and was killed in a battle with outlaws.
PENDLETON, George Allan. Born at Bowling Green, Virginia, in 1823. He was appointed to West Point in 1842, and was there at the same time as Grant, Sherman, Stoneman, and others. Cave J. Couts was also his classmate. He was appointed first lieutenant in the Seventh Regiment. New York Volunteers, August 29, 1846. This was the famous “Stevenson Regiment.” The appointment was signed by Governor Silas Wright, of New York, and bears on its back the certificate of Colonel Stevenson that Pendleton had taken the oath. The regiment was stationed at La Paz more than a year and then came to California, seeing little active service in the Mexican War. Lieutenant Pendleton resigned and settled at Sonora, Tuolumne County, where he engaged in business. In 1849 he represented the San Joaquin district in the State Constitutional Convention. In 1855 he came to San Diego and made it his home.
In the following year he organized the San Diego Guards, was chosen captain, and remained at the head of the organization until it was disbanded, shortly before the Civil War. In 1857 he was elected county clerk and recorder (the two offices being combined in one), and continued to fill the position until his death, in 1871. He also held various other offices, being at times the only official in the county.
Captain Pendleton was a nephew of Colonel J. Bankhead Magruder and a descendant of the last British governor of Virginia. He was a man of capacity and culture. He married, first, Concepcion B. Estudillo, daughter of Jose Antonio Estudillo. He married, second, Clara F. Flynn, who survives him. He died March 3, 1871. His widow is now the wife of William Carson, and lives in San Diego. She relates that during the boom times, after Horton came, Mr. Pendleton would sometimes have as many as 400 or 500 deeds on hand at a time, waiting to be recorded. She was his deputy several years. His part in the conveyance of the city lands to Horton has been related. He was a steadfast friend of Old Town.
POOLE, Charles Henry. Born in Danvers, Mass., February 5, 1835. Entered West Point but resigned before completing course. Engaged in newspaper work and surveying at Salem and Boston. In 1853 was appointed assistant to Lieutenant Derby in the survey of the river and harbor of San Diego. His wife came out with Thomas Whaley, Mrs. Morse, and party, in 1853. He made some surveys of lands on the desert, and two or more surveys for the San Diego & Gila Railroad (the first of the kind ever made in San Diego County). He was county surveyor several terms, and made an official survey and map of the San Diego pueblo lands which is well known. His report to the Surveyor-General is a most interesting document, full of information, to say nothing of its humor. He was a very bright man. After leaving San Diego, he had a checkered career. From the year 1867, he was located in Washington, D. C., as assistant topographer in the P. O. Department, until his death, which occurred January 25, 1880.
ROBINSON, James W. Judge Robinson was, perhaps, the only early settler who had a distinguished career before coming to San Diego. He was a native of Ohio, went to Texas at an early day, and in 1835 was living in Austin. In November of that year he was a member of a convention which met at San Felipe, and was by that body chosen lieutenant-governor of Texas. In the following January, as the result of a long quarrel between Governor Smith and his council, Smith was deposed and Robinson became governor of Texas. The independence of Texas was proclaimed on March 2d and the republic organized. In December, 1836, he was commissioned judge of the 41st judicial district and became a member of the San Antonio bar. A short time after, Santa Aña had the whole court seized and carried away prisoners, and confined in the fortress of Perote. In January, 1843, tiring of his imprisonment, Robinson sent a letter to the Mexican president proposing to use his good offices in the negotiation of peace between the two countries. His offer was accepted and he was released and sent as a commissioner from Santa Aña to the Texan authorities. There was never any chance of such a proposition being accepted by the Texans, and Robinson knew it; but he had gained his object—his liberty.
In 1850, Governor Robinson came to San Diego with his wife and son, and settled. From the first he took a leading part in public affairs. It was stated by Mr. Morse that Robinson and Louis Rose were the originators of the San Diego and Gila Railroad project. He was district attorney in 1852-3-4-5, and in the latter year delivered the Fourth-of-July oration at Old Town. He was school commissioner in 1854, and rendered many other important services. He died late in October, 1857. His son, William N. Robinson, was a child when he came to San Diego with his parents. He was a well known citizen of Jamul, where he died October 30, 1878. He served in the Confederate army. In 1869-70 he represented the county in the assembly. Mrs. Robinson (his mother) was for many years the only American woman living in San Diego.
ROSE, Louis. Mr. Rose’s business undertakings have been mentioned. He came to San Diego in 1850, from Texas, with Governor Robinson and party. He was a member of the first grand jury, in 1850, city trustee in 1853 and, later, interested in the San Diego & Gila Railroad and its treasurer from organization. Served as a volunteer in the Garra uprising. About 1866, he bought the tract known as “Rose’s Garden” from Judge Hollister. He laid out Roseville on lands purchased by him, partly from Governor Robinson and partly from the city. At one time he was offered $100,000 for the townsite, but refused it, believing it would be the site of the future city. He was a Mason and one of the founders of Lodge No. 35. He was a most enterprising citizen and at times had considerable means. In June, 1883, he resigned as postmaster at Old Town, after having served nearly ten years. He died February 14, 1888. His only child, Miss Henrietta Rose, is a teacher in the San Diego public schools.
SCHILLER, Marcus. Born in Prussia, October 2, 1819. Came to America when 17, and in 1853 to San Francisco. Three years later, broken in health and fortune, he came to San Diego. In 1857 he formed a partnership with Joseph S. Mannasse. The activities of the firm of Mannasse & Schiller have been sketched.
Mr. Schiller was city trustee in 1860-1 and 1868, and in the latter year aided in establishing the park. He was superintendent of schools in 1868-9. Also served as stockholder and director of the San Diego & Gila R. R. He married Miss Rebecca Barnett, of San Francisco, in September, 1861, and left a family. He died March 19, 1904.
SLOANE, Joshua. If this work were a collection of entertaining anecdotes, instead of a sober and veracious history, it would be easy to fill it with stories about the various characters who once lived here. Among them all there is, perhaps, none more interesting than Joshua Sloane. He was the butt of many jokes and the “fresh” young newspaper writers of the early 70’s took such liberties with his personality that it is difficult to disentangle him from their fairy tales. But enough has been gathered from the records and from the recollections of his friends to show that he was something more than merely an eccentric old man.
He was a native of Ireland, came of a good family, and had advantages when young. He came to San Diego in the early 50’s and earned a livelihood by various pursuits. At one time he was a clerk in Morse’s store and later a deputy in Captain Pendleton’s office. He owned a wind-power mill near the old Mission and had some real estate. In 1858 he was deputy postmaster and in the following year postmaster. When his term was about to expire, the people of San Diego, who were nearly all opposed to him in politics, signed a protest against his reappointment. When the letter containing this document was deposited in the postoffice, Sloane’s curiosity was aroused by its appearance and address, and he opened it and read the enclosure. Having done this, he coolly cut off the remonstrance, wrote on similar paper a petition for his own reappointment, pasted the signatures below it, and forwarded the altered enclosure in a new envelope. The people of San Diego were at a loss to understand why their almost unanimous petition passed unheeded, and it remained a mystery until Sloane himself told the story, years after.
In the campaign of 1856, Sloane voted for Frémont, and is said to have been one of two or three in San Diego who did so. In the campaign of 1860 he was very active. organized a Republican club, and became known to the party leaders in the East. For this service he was made collector of the port in 1861, and served one term. A famous story about those days was to the effect that he appointed his dog, “Patrick,” deputy collector, and carried him on the pay roll. He was an autograph collector and delighted to show the letters he had received from notable persons.
His greatest service to San Diego was, undoubtedly, his work for the park. He was secretary of the board of trustees at the time the question of setting aside the park came up, and was one of the earliest, most tireless, and most earnest advocates of a large park. One of his friends says regarding this: “He was the man who first proposed having a big park here and he urged it upon the trustees till they let him have his way. There were people here who wanted it cut down and it was due to his efforts that this was not done. He often said to me: ‘They want to cut up the park, but I’m damned if they shall do it!’ He stood like a bulldog over that big park and, some day, people will be grateful to him for doing so. His mission here seemed to be to save that park, and he did it.”
While Joshua Sloane was a shy man, he had a few warm friends who understood him and speak of him to this day with respect and affection. There is no doubt that he was eccentric and much misunderstood. He died, unmarried, January 6, 1879.
SMITH, Albert B. This was one of the earliest American settlers, coming to San Diego before the Mexican War. He was a native of New York. His service in the Mexican War has been described. In 1856, 1858-9 he was superintendent of schools. He married Guadalupe Machado de Wilder, widow of Peter Wilder and daughter of José Manuel Machado. They had several children: Angelo Smith, born 1851; married Sally J. Burr, widow of Dr. Edward Burr; they had five children. Lives in the old Burr place at Old Town. Mrs. Smith died recently. Estes G. Smith, married first, Joseph Schellinger; second, Richard Kerren, both of whom are dead. She lives at Old Town. Albert H. Smith, married first, Mary Pond; they had five children; second, Julia Cota, who had four children. Lives in the old A. B. Smith house at Old Town. Mary Smith, first wife of Andrew Cassidy. Ysabel Smith, married Geo. Lyons and had three children; she is dead.
STEWART, John C. Was a shipmate of Richard Henry Dana in 1834, and settled at San Diego in 1838. Dana speaks of meeting him when he revisited San Diego, in 1859. He was born Sept. 2, 1811, and died February 2, 1892. He married Rosa Machado, daughter of José Manuel Machado; she was born November 15, 1828, and died May 4, 1898. John C. Stewart was second mate of theAlert. He was a pilot and was called “El Pilato.” He served in the Mexican War and with the Fitzgerald Volunteers in 1851. Children: John B., married; lives at San Bernardino; has five children. Manuel, unmarried, lives at Old Town. James, unmarried, lives at San Diego. Frank J., unmarried, lives with Paul Connors at Old Town. Rosa, unmarried. Serafina, married Louis Serrano. Mary N., married Paul S. Connors. Susan, married Ben F. Parsons, lives at Old Town; has three children.
SUTHERLAND, Thomas W. Was one of the earliest, if not the very first, attorney to make San Diego his home. He was alcalde March 18, 1850, on which date he signed the deed to Davis and associates for the new San Diego tract. He was the first city attorney under the American administration, and district attorney in 1851. He removed to San Francisco in 1852.
TIBBETTS (or Tebbetts), George P. Was an elector at La Playa, April 1, 1850. A member of the “Reform” council elected in 1851, and mayor in 1852, being the last mayor before the abolition of the city’s charter. He was associated with the San Diego & Gila R. R. from its inception, and was its secretary from 1854 to 1858. He served as an ensign in the Garra campaign, and in 1853 was a captain of militia under Kurtz. He left San Diego before its new prosperity began and settled at Santa Barbara, where he was for many years the publisher of the News.
WALL, Enos A. Born at Freeport, Maine. Was an elector at San Diego, April 1, 1850. Married Antonia Machado, daughter of José Manuel Machado. He died in new San Diego, January 2, 1885, and left a family, none of whom lives here now. A daughter, Refugia, married Capt. William Price. He was a shipmate of John C. Stewart’s, and is said to have been in charge of one of the old hide houses when Dana was at San Diego in 1836.
WARNER, Jonathan T. Better known as Don Juan Warner, was born at Lyme, Connecticut, November 20, 1807. He came to California in 1831 and settled at Los Angeles. In 1848 he removed to what is known as Warner’s Ranch and lived there until 1857. His adventures in the Garra insurrection have been mentioned. In 1836, he married Anita Gale, daughter of William A. Gale. His later years were spent in Los Angeles. He was San Diego’s first state senator, serving in 1850-1-2.
WHALEY, Thomas. Mr. Whaley was born in New York City, October 5, 1823. He received a good education at Washington Institution, and then travelled two years in Europe with his tutor, M. Emile Mallet. At the breaking out of the gold fever he sailed for California in the Sutton,—the first ship to leave that port for the diggings,—and reached San Francisco July 22, 1849. In the summer of 1851, Lewis A. Franklin and George H. Davis chartered a vessel and with a cargo of goods started down the coast on a trading voyage. Mr. Whaley had an interest in this venture, but remained in San Francisco as agent. Reaching San Diego, they liked the place so well that they determined to remain. Mr. Whaley followed in October, and, in partnership with Franklin, opened the Tienda Califoria (California Store). In the following April the firm was dissolved and in partnership with Jack Hinton, Mr. Whaley bought the interest of R. E. Raymond in the Tienda General (general store). This partnership continued a year and in that time the firm cleared $18,600—quite a sum for those days. In April, 1853, Hinton retired and E. W. Morse entered the firm.
Mr. Whaley went to New York and married Miss Anna E. Lannay, August 14, 1853. Mrs. Whaley is of pure French extraction, being a descendant of the De Lannay and Godefrois families. On the return of the party to San Diego a number of others, including Mrs. Morse and Mrs. Poole, came with them.
In 1856 Mr. Morse retired from the firm and Mr. Whaley continued alone, also engaging in brickmaking in Mission Valley—the first burnt bricks made in San Diego County. In that year, also, he erected his residence and store building, which is still standing at Old Town—the first burnt brick building on the coast south of San Francisco. In 1858 he was engaged in mercantile business with Walter Ringgold, but the store and goods were destroyed by an incendiary fire.
Upon the breaking out of the Garra insurrection, Mr. Whaley joined the Fitzgerald Volunteers and served in the campaign. In 1859 he quitted San Diego and was in different employments, at San Francisco and in Alaska. Soon after Horton came, he returned from New York, bringing a stock of goods with him. He bought out Mr. Morse, who removed to new San Diego, and took into partnership Philip Crosthwaite. By February, 1870, it had become quite evident that the new town would prevail as the city of the future, and the firm removed to Horton’s Addition. The enterprise did not prosper, however, and the connection was a disastrous one for Mr. Whaley. In 1873 he again went to New York and remained five years. In 1879 he once more settled in San Diego, and in the following fall engaged in the real estate business with E. W. Morse. Charles P. Noell was soon after admitted to the firm. In February, 1886, Mr. Noell sold out to R. M. Dalton. Mr. Whaley retired from active business in 1888. He was a large property owner at Old Town, new San Diego, and La Playa. He was a public spirited citizen, but took little part in politics only holding the office of city trustee in 1885, city clerk in 1881-2, etc. He died December 14, 1890.
WILDER, Peter. One of the American residents in 1845. He married Guadalupe Machado, daughter of José Manuel Machado. They had two daughters: Dolores, who was married to Dr. David B. Hoffman, and Refugia, who was the wife of Captain Samuel Warren Hackett. Wilder died and his widow was married a second time, to Albert B. Smith.
WITHERBY, Oliver S. Judge Witherby was one of the most important men in the community, in his day, as he is yet one of the best remembered. He was born near Cincinnati, Ohio, February 19, 1815. Received his education at the Miami University, where he graduated in 1836. Studied law in Hamilton, Ohio, and was admitted to practice in 1840. At the breaking out of the Mexican War, he was appointed first lieutenant and served about a year, when he was invalided and discharged. Served as prosecuting attorney of Hamilton County and acted as editor of the Hamilton Telegraph. In February, 1849, came to San Diego as quartermaster and commissary of the U. S. Boundary Commission, reaching San Diego June 1. Liking the country, he decided to remain, and the people of San Diego County elected him to represent them in the first assembly, at Monterey, in 1850. He was appointed by this legislature judge of the newly created first district court and served the full term of three years. In 1853 he was appointed collector of customs for San Diego and adjoining counties and filled a term of four years. In 1857 he purchased the Escondido Rancho and for more than ten years was a successful farmer and stock raiser. In 1868 he sold his ranch and removed to San Diego. He was a stockholder and director of the early banks of San Diego, and in 1879, upon the consolidation of the Bank of San Diego and the Commercial Bank, he was chosen president of the new institution and served several years. He invested largely in real estate and showed his faith in the city’s future at all times. He was prominently connected, as an investor and executive officer, with most of the important enterprises of his day. At the collapse of the great boom and the subsequent bank failures, he was “caught hard” and lost practically his whole fortune, although he had been rated at half a million. He died December 18, 1896.
Besides the offices mentioned, he served as public administrator from 1860 to 1867. He was also intimately connected with the San Diego & Gila R. R., and was its president in 1858 and for some years after. Judge Witherby was a genial and popular man.
WRIGHTINGTON, Thomas. With the possible exception of Henry D. Fitch, Thomas Wrightington was the first American settler in San Diego. He came with Abel Stearns, on the Ayucucho in 1833, and settled, while Stearns went on up the coast. Wrightington was supercargo of the vessel. He was from Fall River, Mass., was a shoemaker by trade, and had a good education. He applied for naturalization in 1835 and got provisional papers in 1838. He served as a volunteer in the Mexican War. He held several minor offices, both under the Mexican and American governments. Bancroft spells his name Ridington, which is erroneous.
He married Juana Machado de Alipás, widow of Damasio Alipás and daughter of José Manuel Machado. Their children were José, Serafina, and Luis. José was sent to Boston with the intention that he should be adopted and brought up by an uncle; but, having taken offense at a colored footman in his uncle’s house, he went off to sea on his own account. He was a whaler all his life and married a Chilean woman. Serafina was married to John Minturn. Luis was killed by a horse, at San Juan.
Mrs. Wrightington was a widow several years, and a well remembered character of Old Town. She was a mother to all the unfortunates around the Bay. She spent her last days with her daughter, Mrs. Israel, at Coronado.
Return to Books.
HISTORY OF SAN DIEGO
PART ONE: Period of Discovery and Mission Rule
- The Spanish Explorers
- Beginning of the Mission Epoch
- The Taming of the Indian
- The Day of Mission Greatness
- The End of Franciscan Rule
Priests of San Diego Mission
PART TWO: When Old Town Was San Diego
- Life on Presidio Hill Under the Spanish Flag
List of Spanish and Mexican commandants
- Beginnings of Agriculture and Commerce
List of Ranchos in San Diego County
- Political Life in Mexican Days
- Early Homes, Visitors and Families
- Pleasant Memories of Social Life
- Prominent Spanish Families
- The Indians’ Relations With the Settlers
List of Mission Indian Lands
- San Diego in the Mexican War
- Public Affairs After the War
- Accounts of Early Visitors and Settlers
- Annals of the Close of Old San Diego
- American Families of the Early Time
- The Journalism of Old San Diego
- Abortive Attempt to Establish New San Diego
PART THREE: The Horton Period
- The Founder of the Modern City
- Horton’s Own Story
- Early Railroad Efforts, Including the Texas and Pacific
- San Diego’s First Boom
- Some Aspects of Social Life
PART FOUR: Period of “The Great Boom”
PART FIVE: The Last Two Decades
- Local Annals, After the Boom
- Political Affairs and Municipal Campaigns
- Later Journalism and Literature [new material in second edition]
- The Disaster to the Bennington
- The Twentieth Century Days
- John D. Spreckels Solves the Railroad Problem
PART SIX: Institutions of Civic Life
- Churches and Religious Life
- Schools and Education
- Records of the Bench and Bar
- Growth of the Medical Profession
- The Public Library
- Story of the City Parks
- The Chamber of Commerce
- Banks and Banking
- Secret, Fraternal and Other Societies
- Account of the Fire Department
PART SEVEN: Miscellaneous Topics
- History of the San Diego Climate
- San Diego Bay, Harbor and River
- Governmental Activities
- The Suburbs of San Diego