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


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

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

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

Citizens! Attend to your interests; guard your pocketbooks!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

San Pedro Street, near Second, in the Early Seventies

Commercial Street, Looking East from Main, about 1870

View of Plaza, Showing the Reservoir

Old Lanfranco Block

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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