1927 Graves My 70 YEARS IN CA

J.A. Graves My Seventy Years in California, Los Angeles: The Times-Mirror Press, 1927, 478 pp.

     This first edition of the work had been donated to the California Club Library by Mr. and Mrs. Robert A. Bundy in 1927. J.A. Graves [1857-1927].

[p. 128] Chapter XVI Turnverein Hall. Ingersoll's lecture at the Childs' Opera House. Los Angeles Bar Association. 

     In 1873 there was only one place in the city at all suitable to the assembly hall. That was Turnverein Hall, on the west side of Spring Street, about midway between Second and Third. It was  a huge old frame building. Mr. J.B. Lankershim purchased it after 1880, and removed it to Third Street, west of  the lot now occupied by the Byrne Building. He transformed it into an apartment house which rented very freely during  the  boom days of 1884 and succeeding years.

     Ole Bull more than once electrified fashionable audiences in the old Turnverein Hall. Madame Fabri and other equally distinguished artists performed there. There was a stage at the western end of the building. In 1884, Mr. O.W. Childs gave us our first theater and named it the Childs' Opera House. It was located on the east side of Main Street, a little below First, and had a capacity of 1,800 people. After that was built, all the leading artists and theatrical companies of the country visited Los Angeles when in California. 

     I heard Col. Robert G. Ingersoll deliver one of his lectures there. He came onto the stage unannounced, walked to the footlights, with a pleasant smile on his face, and began, and the first words he uttered were: 

     [p.129] "After all, how little we know."

    Some disturber in the audience arose and began to abuse him, and was promptly taken care for by attendants and put out of the building. Ingersoll stood as immovable as a statue, during the disturbance, and when it had quieted down he began again with:

     "After all, how little we know."

     Another disturber,  a little closer to the stage, jumped up, and of course did not proceed. This party was hustled out of the building. Again he began:

     "After all little we know."

     A third party arose, and the same performance was gone over with.

     When the house had quieted down, he looked it over, with a pleasant smile on his face and said: 

     "If there are any other gentlemen with anything to say, I wish they would all arise at once, as we would save time."

     There being no response, and the audience thereby placed in a good humor, he began again: 

     "After all, how little we know," and for three-quarters of an hour I listened to such a verbal treat as I had never heard in my life. His presence was dignified, his voice resonant and sonorous, his diction perfect and his eloquence unsurpassable. No matter how much anyone might disagree with the sentiments he uttered, one had to give his due m[sic]eed for his accomplishments as a most brilliant orator. 

     The next theater of any moment was the Burbank. It was built by Dr. Burbank, after he sold his ranch at the lower end of the San Fernando Valley, known as the Providencia.  This theater was rendered quite famous by Oliver Morosco, who was the lease of it for many years and produced many of his best plays there. Since those days theaters have multiplied innumerably. Most of the [p. 130] modern ones have been built especially for movie entertainments, but our theaters will compare favorably with those of any city in America. 

     The churches were quite well represented here in 1875. Of course the oldest church was "Our Lady of the Angels," opposite the Plaza on the west side of Main Street, near the corner of what is now Sunset Boulevard. The Catholic Cathedral, St. Vibiana, was in course of construction. The first services were held there on the 7th day of April, 1876, Palm Sunday. I attended service in the cathedral on Christmas Day with Miss Sue Glassell, a daughter of Mr. Andrew Glassell, the attorney.

    [p. 131] . . .

    The Presbyterians had a very good church building at the southeast  corner of Broadway and Second Streets. and a few doors south of it was the Jewish Synagogue, a good substantial brick building. The Methodists had quite a large church  on Fort street, now Broadway. just south of Third street. It was being built when I came here in 1875. There was also a Congregational Church at the northeast corner of Third and Hill streets. The Trinity M.E. Church, South, also had a church building, the location of which I cannot now place, as did also did the Church of Christ. 

     The Los Angeles High School at that time stood on the lot on which the present  court house is built, at Temple and Broadway. There was also a  public school at Second and Spring. This lot was sold during the 1880's to Mr. L.J. Rose, of San Gabriel, and if I remember rightly, the money derived from that sale was used in purchasing the large lot running from Spring street to Fort street, now Broadway (where the Arcade Building now stands by the Board of Education . . .

     The Los Angeles Bar Association, still in existence, was organized December 3rd, 1878, with twenty-two charter members. All of them are dead except Justice E.M. Ross, Judge A.W. Hutton, Mr. R.F.  Del Valle, and myself. Mr. Andrew Glassell was  elected president of it, A.W. Hutton secretary, and myself treasurer, for the first year of its existence.

[p. 133] Chapter XVII The Passing of the Dominent Race

     The history of Los Angeles County, from the Treaty of Guadalupe, following the termination of the war  between Mexico and the United States, until, say, 1880, could well be designated the history of "the passing of the dominant race."

     A census taken of Los Angeles in 1830, enumerates but forty people who were not of the Mexican or Spanish race. When the war above mentioned terminated, the native Califorrnians were the leading landed proprietors of the county and, in fact, of all of California. Several million acres of the best land  in this county were included in grants made either by the King of Spain, or the Governor of Mexico or the Governors of California, authorized by decree of the departmental assembly, to Spanish subjects. All land not embraced within theses grants became the property of the United States Government and title thereto has been  acquired under the Homestead or preemption laws. or through a grant mede by the government to the Texas & Pacific Railroad Company to which the Southern Pacific Railroad succeeded. Practically all the land of any value, which the government owned in Los Angeles County, had been disposed of. 

     The United States Government recognized the titles of the holders of Mexican grants, and in 1852 Congress passed an act providing for the presentation by these owners to a court of claims for confirmation of the grants. One of these courts sat in Los Angeles. The owners of [p. 134] these grants were given their day in court to prove the grant, show occupation and boundaries. The descriptions in the original grants were usually vague and depended largely upon natural boundaries. If the court of claims confirmed the grant an appeal was invariably taken by the government to the Supreme Court of the United States. Upon affirmation of the judgement of the court of claims, the United States Surveyor General made a survey by metes and bounds of the property involved, and thereafter a patent was issued by the Federal government, signed by the president of the United States.

     The title to lands resulting from such a patent is absolutely good. Many assaults have been made on these patented titles, but without success. The Supreme Court of the United States has laid down and adhered to the rule that nothing but fraud between the claimant and the government officials would justify the setting aside of such a patent

     The native Californians who owned these granted lands led a pastoral life. They lived in a patriarchal manner, sometimes several generations, occupying the same family homestead. They had their retainers and followers, many of them full or half-blooded Indians. At the time that Dana made his trip, detailed in Two Years Before the Mast, and for long afterwards, these people disposed of their hides and tallow to the owners of vessels which beat up and down the coast for cargo. They received largely merchandise of various character and quality, for their products. Sometimes a little money changed hands. They led a happy, care-free  life.  They loved the fiesta and the fandango. They indulged in cock-fighting, horse racing, and too often they gambled heavily, and many of them drank to excess. They were careless of money, spent it freely when they had it, and did not [p.135] hesitate to borrow when they did not have it. The wives of these old grandees were noble, home-loving women, loyal to their families and devoted to their religious duties. They tenderly cared for both the physical  and spiritual welfare of their children. They pointed out to them the straight and narrow path. They fed and nursed and clothed the Indians, by whom they were surrounded. They restrained the passions and prejudices of their husbands, brothers and sons, who all too often were goaded to desperation by the hypocrisy and deception practiced on them by the Americans who were rapidly settling up this country, and who were not over-scrupulous as to the means used in order to attain ends desired. To the beneficial influence of these noble women, such prosperity as came to their households was due. Such were the women of the Del Valle, the Bandini, the Dominguez, the Yorba, the Sanchez, the Garcia, the Tapia, the Lugo, the Machado, the Orena, the Avila families, and, in fact, of all the familes of the original native Californian residents of Los Angeles County.

     Some of the grantees named in the grants above mentioned disposed of them prior to the presentation to the court of claims. In such cases confirmation was sought and obtained in the name of such grantee, usually an American citizen.

     With the establishment of a state government, taxes, something hitherto unknown to the native Californians, were imposed. Also came competition in business with the Americans. The natives were not equal to the emergencies which constantly  confronted them. Frequently their immediate holdings were sold for a meager tax. To redeem their lands from such a sale and its accumulated costs, and to obtain money to meet ever-increasing new demands of changed conditions, a mortgage, at a villain- [p.136] ous rate of interest, on an undivided interest in their grant lands, followed, or the owner would deed to some American an undivided interest in his holdings. In time, mortgages thus given were foreclosed and title to an undivided-interest would pass thereby. Then the new owner, holding either through mortgage foreclosure, or through grant of an undivided interest, desiring his lands segregated would bring an action of partition. This always involved additional expense to the original holders. When the partition suit brought, frequently the original owner would be dead, and all his heirs would be made parties to the action. When all the parties to the action were before the court, after service of summons and answers made, in which answers each of the defendants set up his respective rights in the property, a commissioner would be appointed by the court to ascertain the rights of the respective parties.

     In Los Angeles County, James G. Lander,  a prominent attorney here, was, for many years. the commissioner in these cases. He wrote as legible a hand as I ever saw. Hundreds of his reports are in the records of these cases in the county clerk's office. He would begin with the name of the original grantee. If dead, he would trace his heirs, direct and collateral.  If transfers of undivided interests had been made,  the extent  of the interest, and to whom made, was specified. He would conclude by finding who was entitled to the property and in what proportions they held it, and to what encumbrance, if any, each portion was subject. Upon the coming in of the commissioner's report, referees would be appointed. They would  view the premises and appraise them, have a surveyor set off by metes and bounds that portion of the property, quantity and quality considered, to which each party to the suit was entitled. When the referees made their final report [p. 137] to the court, a hearing was had, and in time a final decree of partition was entered, giving each party his land in severalty instead of his former undivided interest.  The costs of the entire proceedings were apportioned to the various owners and made a lien upon their respective holdings. Some of the owners, to discharge these costs and raise money for homes and improvements, would mortgage the lands set aside to them, too often thereby opening the door to other foreclosures and finally to loss of the mortgaged holdings. 

     The native Californians simply could not make headway against or in competition with American progress. One by one they faded away. Many of them died in poverty. Their children became day-laborers. Occasionally one of the younger generation received an education and assumed a position of importance and respectability in the community, but the majority of them did not. It is the sad story of the downfall of a happy, peaceful people, passing off the earth in less than two generations. 

     Of all the Mexicans or Spanish grants in Los Angeles County,  I know of but one, the San Pedro Ranch, popularly known as the Dominguez Ranch. which is all, or nearly all, still owned by the descendants of the original grantees. Quite a number of the Sepulveda family, also, still own very valuable holdings in the Rancho Los Palos Verdes where the city of San Pedro is situated.

     No sadder picture could be drawn than that of the legal despoliation, by the Americans, of the original grantees of these immense land holdings. 

[p. 138] Chapter XVIII Spanish and Mexican Grants in Los Angeles County. San Fernando Ranch Litigation. Will of Jose Bartolome Tapia. Grant Litigation. 

     I will endeavor to explain in detail the principal land grants in Los Angeles County, and for that purpose will begin at the top of the map, near the Kern  County boundary line. The first grant encountered is La Liebre, a ranch of 48,820 acres, confirmed to J.M. Flores and patented June 10, 1879. A very large portion of it lies in Kern County. It has always been a most wonderful stock ranch. The ranch is now owned by El Tejon Ranch Company, of which Gen. M.H. Sherman is president.  

     Coming south on the Ridge Route, lying off to the right at a considerable distance from the present road over the Ridge Route, and in very rough territory, is the Rancho Temescal, much of which is also embraced in Ventura County. This ranch comprised 13,339 acres, and was patented  September 13, 1871.  There is a Cuesta grade. just beyond San Luis Obispo, the summit of which is 1,500 feet elevation. It would be gratifying to know whether there was a Cuesta Ranch in the neighborhood, or whether the grade was named after some one of that name who was probably related to Refugio de la Cuesta. 

     The next grant encountered is the San Francisco, of 48,000 acres, also lying partly in Ventura County, which was confirmed to Jacoba Feliz and patented on February 12, 1875. At the date of the patent it was owned by Mr. Henry  M. Newhall of San Francisco, and is still the [p.139] property of his heirs. The towns  of Newhall and Saugus are located on that property. 

     Crossing the mountains through which the San Fernando Tunnel runs, we reach the Rancho Ex Mission de San Fernando, which has quite a history. It was sold during the war with Mexico by Governor Pio Pico, acting under a decree of the departmental assembly, to Eulogio de Celis, a native of Spain, then living in Los Angeles for a modest sum of $14,000. Some time later after the war, Celis sold to Pico an undivided one-half of the property. In 1874, Pico sold his undivided one-half of the property to the San Fernando Farm Homestead Association, the principal promoters of which were Mr. Issac Lankershim and his son-in-law, Mr. I.N. Van Nuys, for $114,000.

     The San Fernando Farm Homestead Association brought suit to partition the rancho and there was set aside to it the south one-half of the rancho, containing some 69,000 acres. In 1875, Eulogio de Celis, executor of his father's will, sold the north one-half of the property to Mr. George K, Porter of San Francisco. Mr. B.F. Porter of Monterey County, and Mr. Charles Maday, then living in Los Angeles, for $115,000.  These figures were then considered high. Compared with present prices of the same lands, it would seem that some one had touched the property with Aladdin's lamp!

    . . . 

     [p. 141]  The San Fernando Ranch went through much litigation, both the north and the south half. I was in all of it, as an attorney. In 1890, some 1,200 squatters attempted to make filings on various portions of the ranch, violently  took possession of it, drove off the stock of the Los Angeles Farming & Milling Company, took possession of haystacks and carried on ruthlessly. My firm [p. 142] were the attorneys for the owners of both the north and the south side.

     . . .

     [p. 145] On the western boundary of the San Fernando and bounded on three sides by it, a small ranch, El Escorpion, originally granted to an Indian named Odon and confirmed to the Indian Urbano, et al. It contained 1,109 acres and patent were issued to it in 1873. This property was subsequently acquired by Mr. Miguel Leonis, a wealthy sheep raiser. 

     Situated entirely within the limits of the San Fernando, and near its southern boundary and about equally distant from its eastern and western boundaries, is the Rancho El Encino, of 4,460 acres, confirmed to V. De La Osa, and patented January 8, 1875 . . .  it was granted prior to the grant of the San Fernando. The Encino, in time, was owned by the Garnier Brothers and afterward by Juan Barnard. Also situated entirely within the boundaries of the north half of the Rancho San Fernando, was the celebrated Mission of San Fernando church property, patented to the Roman Catholic Church, and containing in all, but in several pieces, seventy-six acres of land. This, at one time, was one of the most prosperous missions in the State of California, had more cattle, horses and sheep than any of the other missions. 

     [p. 145] Some distance to the west of the San Fernando lies the Las Virgines. of some 26,000 acres,  lying partly in Ventura County. which was confirmed to Maria Antonia Machado, and patented  September 5th,  1853.  This ranch was at one time subject to considerable litigation. but  the title was finally satisfactorily straightened out.  Also in the same neighborhood was the Rancho El Conejo, which was confirmed to J. de la Noriega, for 48,571 acres, and was patented June 8th, 1873. [p. 146]  Much of this ranch also lies in the county of Ventura.

     South of the San Francisco and west of the San Fernando came the Rancho Simi, a very small portion of which lies in Loa Angeles County. That portion of the rancho in Los Angeles County, taking in the summit of the Santa Susanna Mountains. The Chatsworth tunnel  of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company runs under the Simi at about midway,  north and south of the rancho. It contains 113,609 acres, was confirmed and patented to J. de la Noriega on January 28 on January 29, 1865. He was also the patentee of the adjoining ranch already spoken of, the El Conejo. Of course, the larger portion of the Simi lies in Ventura County. 

     East of the San Fernando, at what might ve called the lower mouth of the valley, lies the Rancho Providencia, of 4,438 acres. It was confirmed by D.W. Alexander and others and was, for many years, owned by Dr. Burbank. When he sold it to a syndicate which organized the Providenia Land and  Water Company, he built the Burbank Theater, on South Main Street; in Los Angeles. It was always a very excellent rancho, has been subdivided and re-subdivided, and now contains a large population.

     Adjoining it on the south and east, and extending into the mountains, was the Los Feliz, confirmed and patented to Maria Ygnacio Verdugo, and containing 6,647 acres. It was afterwards owned by Thomas Bell of San Francisco. On April 18, 1879, I,  acting for Bell, sold it to Griffth Jenkins Griffith, who, years afterwards, presented the hill land of the rancho, and some bottom land, to the City of Los Angeles as a public park.  The land comprising the original City of Los Angeles was also a Mexican grant, and it and the Feliz Ranch were co-terminus for quite a distance. 

     [p. 147]   North of the Los Feliz and east of Proviencia and of the San Fernando, and extending to the Arroyo Seco on the east and the Sierra Madre Mountains to the north (with one exception only) is the Rancho San Rafael, containing 36,480 acres, confirmed to Julio Verdugo, et al., and patented January 28, 1882. 

    The very prosperous city of Glendale and many other country settlements are upon the San Rafael.

     The Rancho La Canada, of 5,000 acres, was confirmed to Jonathan R. Scott, and patented August 1, 1866. It lies in elongated form next to the Sierra Madre Mountains and the Rancho Los Feliz. and embraces a considerable portion of Flintridge, which is now undergoing very high-class development.

     West of the Canada, and east of the northeast corner of the San Fernando, lies the Rancho Tujunga, which was confirmed to Don David Alexander, contained 16,000 acres of land, and was patented October 7, 1874.

     It will be more convenient to take up some of the other grants lying south of the San Fernando at this time and come back to the patented ranchos lying north of the City of Los Angeles later on. Crossing the Santa Monica Mountains from the San Fernando Rancho, the firstt grant encountered is the San Vicente y Santa Monica, which, for some miles, has coterminous boundary with the San Fernando. It was confirmed to R. Sepulveda, contained 30,250 acres of land, and was patented July 28, 1881. This rancho had quite a frontage on the Pacific Ocean, and north of a straight line, which would be the northern boundary of that portion of the rancho which  extended to the Pacific Ocean, was the Rancho Boca de Santa Monica, confirmed to Ysidro Reyes, et al., containing 6,656 acres of land and patented July 21, 1882. Santa Monica, Ocean Park and Venice are situated upon [p.148] these two ranchos. In June 1875, there was not a house anywhere on the beach. By fall of that year a few frame shanties had been built on the townsite of Santa Monica, and from that time on, its growth has been quite steady.         

     The Topango Malibu Sequit was originally granted to Jose Bartolome Tapia in the year 1804, but the document granting the same to him was lost, and Leon V. Pruhomme succeeded to his title, petitioned for confirmation, obtained it, and succeeded to the title. It contained 13,350 acres of land and was patented August 29, 1873.  Don Mateo Keller finally succeeded to the title to the ranch and it was patented to him. In 1872 he made an agreement to sell the land to one Carrie Lewis, a resident of Cleveland, Ohio. On February 26, 1874 n 1874, Mrs, Lewis, having defauted in her payments, Anson Brunsun brought an action  for Don Mateo Keller, against  Carrie S, Lewis and her husband G.F. Lewis to quiet [sic] title to the premises. Judgement was rendered in accordance with the prayer of the complaint, in the lower court.  An appeal was taken and the judgement was modified by the supreme court to the extent that the Lewises were given a short time within which to pay the balance, and the judgement provided that should they not pay, a decree should be entered cancelling their rights. 

      . . . the supreme court established a new procedure in accordance therewith.

     A rather singular thing was the introduction in evidence in the trial of the above mentioned case, of a copy of the will of Jose Bartolome Tapia . . .

      . . .

     [p.  151] Mr. H.W. Keller succeeded the title of his father to the Rancho Topango Malibu, his sisters receiving other properties, in the City of Los Angeles, in lieu of their interest therein. Keller sold it for upwards of three hundred thousand dollars to Frederick K. Rindge, whose family still own it. It is now supposed to be worth many millions of dollars.  

     Bounded on the west and north by the Rancho San Vicente y Santa Monica, on the east by the Rancho  Rodeo and Rincon de los Bueyes, was the Rancho San Jose de Buenos Aires, which was confirmed and patented to B.D. Wilson, contained 4,338 acres, and patent was issued December 4, 1875. It has become an exceedingly valuable piece of property.

     Immediately east of the last mentioned property was the Rancho Rodeo de las Aguass, which means, “a gathering of the waters.” Where the townsite of Sherman is situated, on this rancho, in 1875, was a very marshy piece; of land, where a number of springs of pure water  bubbled up from beneath the surface, forming  most excellent pools, where mallards and canvas-backs loved to resort. With the development of water for adjacent lands these springs, of course, in time subsided, leaving the land open for occupation. This rancho subsequently was almost entirely owned by Messrs. Hammel & Denker, hotel keepers of Los Angeles, and quite large property holders in that city. The rancho was confirmed and patented to Manuel R. Valdez, contained 4,419.31 acres, and patent was issued January 15, 1873.

     Lying east of the Rodeo de las Aguas was the Rancho La Brea, confirmed and patented to A.J. Rocha, containing 4,439 acres. Patent was issued January 15, 1873. 

     Mr. Henry Hancock, an old-time surveyor of Los [p. 152] Angeles, succeeded to the title to the property, which still remains in his heirs. It has been one of the most valuable oil-producing properties in Californis and many wells on it are still being pumped. The famous Brea Pits, from which prehistoric skeletons have been taken in great number, are included in the limits of this rancho. Portions of the rancho have already been subdivided and have brought fabulous prices for residence purposes. 

     Between this rancho and the city limits of Los Angeles was a considerable amount of U.S. Government land, the title to which has been acquired under the preemption or homestead laws, and which is now thickly populated. 

     South of the Rodeo de las Aguas was the Rancho Rincon de los Bueyes, meaning “the corner of the cattle,” containing 3,127 acres, confirmed and patented to Francisco Higuera. Patent to it was issued August 27, 1872. 

     Directly east of the above was the Rancho Las Cienegas, containing 4,439 acres, confirmed and patented to Juan Abila and others on June 15th, 1871. In 1875 this rancho was almost entirely a swamp, but has been so drained as to become exceedingly valuable for residence purposes. More United States Government land fell between it and the City of Los Angeles, all of which is now built upon.

     In one morning’s shoot on the Cienega, H.M. Mitchell (at one time sheriff of the county) and myself killed eighty-seven jack-snipe. I am free to confess that Mitchell killed many more of them than I did. Up to that time I had not gotten onto their curves. Judge F.W. Henshaw, for many years a justice of the supreme court of the state, one day showed me how. As a rule, a jack-snipe, when flushed, does not fly far. When he goes to alight, he simply closes his wings and drops to the ground. If a hunter will wait until that time comes, he will kill [p. 153] seven out of ten of them. After being shown that peculiarity of the bird, I had considerable success with them. 

     West of the Rancho Los Bueyes was the Rancho La Ballona, confirmed to Antonio Machado, containing 13,919 acres, and patented December 18, 1873. This ranch also contained much marsh land and, together with the Cienega, afforded the early residents of Los Angeles most excellent duck, snipe and goose shooting. 

     Immediately east of the Ballona came the Rancho Cienega O Paso de La Tijera. meaning the cienega, or “the pass of the scissors,” so named because there was a valley on it with a pass at the top, and another valley beyond, which easily, in imagination, could be likened to the handles and the blades of a pair of scissors when the same were opened. This property passed to the ownership of E.J. Baldwin, and the Baldwin Hills have become a very rich producing oil field. U.S. Government land surrounded this rancho on the south and east. 

     South of the Ballona came the Rancho Sausal Redondo, containing 22,468 acres, confirmed and patented to Antonio Ignacio Abila on March 22nd, 1875, and setting into this ranch, near its northeast corner, was the Rancho Agua de la Centinella, granted and patented to Bernardino Abila, containing 2,219 acres, patent having been issued August 29, 1872 . . . 

     This ranch and the Sausal Redondo in 1875, were owned by Mr. Dan Freeman. The Sausal Redondo had almost ten miles of frontage on the Pacific Ocean. The town of Ballona was situated in it. It had an average width of 5 miles  and there was quite a large amount of United States Government land lying to the east of it, title of all of which has been acquired  in various manners and is now individually owned by various people and corporations.  [p. 154] The south line of the Sausal Redondo runs right up to the town of Redondo  Beach. The town of El Segundo, where the Standard Oil Company has a refinery and much tankage is on the Sausal Redondo.

     In 1875, ranging in the Baldwin Hills and on the Sausal Redondo, were seven wild antelopes, the remnant of a great herd that once inhabited this portion of Los Angeles County. In the next few years they were all killed off. 

     South and east of the Sausal Redondo, and extending over to the San Gabriel River, which empties into the Harbor of San Pedro, and with a frontage of possibly two miles on the ocean, where the town of Redondo Beach is situated, lies the Rancho San Pedro, commonly known as the Dominguez Rancho.  It was confirmed and patented to Manuel Dominguez, contained 43,179 acres of land, and patent to it was issued December 1858. 

    Manuel Dominguez was one of the sterling men of the old regime. He held most of this property intact, and is still owned by his heirs. It has proven to be one of the richest oil territories in the State of  California. 

     Southwesterly of the San Pedro, and bounded on three sides by the Pacific Ocean, was the Rancho Las Palos Verdes, confirmed and patented to Jose L. Sepulveda, for 31,629 acres, on June 23, 1880. The town of San Pedro, the government lighthouse at White’s Point, and the government’s fortifications, where guns of immense caliber and carrying power are mounted are also on this property. This was a most excellent stock ranch. The western portion of it can never be very popular for beach settlements, for the very reason that strong winds prevail there all summer long and the coast is not suitable for bathing purposes. The entire beach is composed of sharp black rocks and immediately outside of it are heavy kelp beds, which detract very largely from its value, 

     [p. 155] On the extreme southwest is a place which has always been called Portuguese Bend, noted for its fishing, and especially for its abalones. 

     . . . Rancho La Tajauta, confirmed and patented to Enrique Abila, et al., containing and patented January  8, 1871. It was a splendid piece of land.

     Northeast of it, and running up to the southeast boundary of the lands within the original boundariess of the City of Los Angeles, lies the Rancho San Antonio. It was confirmed and patented to Antonio Maria Lugo on July 20th, 1866, and contained 29,513 acres of land. 

     Still northeast of the San Antonio, came the Rancho La Merced, containing 2,363.75 acres, confirmed to F.P.F. Temple and Juan Mateo Sanchez, and patented February 13, 1872.

     North of it was the Rancho Potrero Grande, containing 4,631 acres, confirmed and patented to Juan Mateo Sanchez, patent issued July 19, 1855;  and east of it was the Rancho de Felipe Lugo, containing 4,042 acres, and confirmed and patented to Morillo and Romero, patent issued June 5, 1871.    

     Juan Mateo Sanchez owned the La Merced, now one of the richest oil fields in California, the Potrero Grande, and the Potrero de Felipe Lugo. When the banking house of Temple & Workman failed, in 1875, its owners borrowed $225,000 from E.J. Baldwin, of San Francisco, with interest of 1 1/4% per month, compounded monthly. Included in the mortgage were 40,000 acres of the Puente Rancho, owned by William Workman, the Temple Block at the junction of Temple, Spring and Main streets, a valuable piece of property on Spring Street [p. 156] in Los Angeles, where the city hall is now being built, and a half interest in the Rancho Las Cienegas hereinbefore described. To accomodate his friend, F.P.F. Temple, of Temple & Workman, Juan Mateo Sanchez included his three properties, the Merced, the Potereo Grande and the Felipe Lugo in the mortgage. Workman committed suicide, Temple had a stroke of paralysis, lingered for a time and died. Baldwin did nothing with his mortgage until the time was approaching when it would be barred by the statue of limitations. He then assigned it to Camillo Martin, a banker of San Francisco, who was not an American citizen. Suit was brought in the United States District Court in San Francisco, to foreclose the mortgages, and all of these magnificent properties went to satisfy the debt, which was largely increased by compound interest, and taxes paid by Baldwin, and expenses of the suit. H.A. Unruh, the executor of Baldwin’s estate, sold 40,000 acres of the Puente Rancho, in subdivisions, to various parties, for the sum of $6,000,000. Baldwin sold during his lifetime, the Rancho Potrero de Felipe Lugo and the Rancho Potrero Grande, at very excellent figures. 

     The Merced was rough hill land and could not be sold. It was only fit for sheep pasture. But subsequently, what is called the Montebello Oil Fields were developed there, and Baldwin’s two daughters have received immense fortunes in oil royalties from the property. As their lands are held by large companies who drill only one well to five acres, they will probably receive royalties from the land as long as they live. 

     Coming towards the coast. and immediately east of the San Antonio and the Merced, is the Rancho Paso de Bartolo. This was confirmed  and patented  to the following persons and in the following amounts:

     [p. 157] To Barnardino Guirado, 875 acres, patent issued September 27, 1867; 

     To Joaquin Sepulveda, 217 acres, patent issued  March 17, 1881; 

     To Pio Pico, 8891 acres, patent issued August 5, 1881.

     This property was the last holding of Pio Pico in Los Angeles County.  When Brunson, Eastman & Graves dissolved, the firm held the note of Pio Piico for $250, for services rendered. I took the note in settlement. Not being able to collect it of Pico, I sued upon it, and attached his interest in the Paseo de Bartolo, which was generally known as the Ranchito. I sold it under execution, after judgement obtained, and two days before the time I should have received a deed, Mr. A. Glassell, who was the attorney for Pico, paid me the amount necessary to redeem the land from the sale. 

     The Paso de Bartolo was one of the most productive pieces of property in Los Angeles County. In the old days, it was devoted almost entirely to growing of corn. It is not generally known that in 1875, and for years afterwards, Los Angeles County produced more corn than the balance of the State of California. 

     . . . 

     South of the Santa Gertrudes and east of the Rancho [p. 158] San Pedro, and extending to the Pacific Ocean, embracing all of what was formerly known as Terminal Island and a very considerable portion of Long Beach, was the Rancho Los Cerritos, confirmed and patented to Juan Temple for 27,054 acres on December 7th, 1878. This ranch, at quite an early date, was acquired by Jonathan and Llewellyn Bixby, who used it for sheep raising purposes in connection with other lands which they owned. They also subdivided the northern portion and sold it off to actual settlers. 

     East of the Rancho Los Cerritos comes the Rancho Los Alamitos, which was confirmed and patented to Don Abel Stearns, who had acquired it from the original Mexican grantee, for 28,027 acres, patent issued August 29, 1874. It was subsequently acquired by Michael Reese, whom I have spoken of before as the man who floated the bonds for the Southern Pacific Railroad Company to build its road from San Francisco to New Orleans, and it was acquired from his estate by I.W Hellman, Jotham Bixby and John H. Bixby, a cousin of Jotham. 

     It included the very extensive oil field known as Signal Hill. The three owners of this ranch formed the Alamitos Land Company and conveyed to it lands now embracing a very large portion of Long Beach, including Signal Hill. They received immense returns from sales of lots in Long Beach. They subdivided all of Signal Hill except about a hundred acres, embracing the east face thereof, which was too steep for subdivision, and sold off the lots on Signal Hill for from $100 to $250 apiece. Many of those lots have produced hundreds of thousands of dollars in oil, since. The Alamitos Land Company used to complain to itself, that the east face of the hill was too sweep to be disposed of in subdivision. They subsequently leased it to the Shell Oil Company. [p. 159] and the amount of royalties received by the heirs of the three original owners, from that hundred acres, is simply marvelous.

     While I was still practicing law I partitioned this property between the three owners  . . .

    I sold for Mr. Hellman, acting as his attorney in fact, and making all the deeds, some 33 acres, where Seal Beach is situated, for about ten thousand dollars more than twice as much as he paid for his original interest in the entire rancho. I know of no piece of ranch property in Los Angeles County that yielded a bigger return to its owners than the Alamitos.

     [p. 160]  . . . 

     A portion of the Rancho Las Bolisas lies in Orange County . . .  Just after I came to Los Angeles, a band of squatters attempted to settle upon them and also upon the San Joaquin Rancho, now in Orange County, but then in Los Angeles County. The firm of Bronson, Eastman and Graves, as attorneys for the Stearns Rancho Company, brought actions in ejectment, secured very drastic injunctions, and finally won out in all of the suits.

     Away back in the early history of Los Angeles County,  Don Abel Stearna made a trust deed to Alfred Robinson and others, to a great deal of land, including acreage in Los Coyotes, La Bolsa Chica and Las Bolsas, and other ranchos now in Orange County, and afterwards the Stearns Rancho Company acquired all the lands in that trust.

     The Anaheim Union Water Company, which supplied water to the Anaheim settlement, which was a German settlement made in 1857, at various times brought suit against many  people, involving water rights. The Stearns [p. 161] Rancho Company was a party to one of these suits and our firm appeared for it. I do not remember just how the suit terminated. Years afterwards, when Mr. J.S. Chapman and I were associated together, the Anaheim Union Water Company brought another suit regarding water rights, and made the Stearns Rancho Company, a party . . . Not long afterwards the suit was dismissed and . . . 

     . . .

     Years later, after Mr. Chapman and I had dissolved, another suit was brought by the Anaheim Union Water Company, but none of our former clients were involved [p. 162] in it . . .

     . . .

     [p. 163] I have now discussed all of the Spanish Grants beginning with the Rancho La Liebre, and after getting to the [p. 164] San Vicente y Santa Monica, following the coast up to Los Angeles and taking in all of the grants then in Los Angeles County, many of which are now in Orange County, to the south and east limits of the present Orange County, I will complete the discussion of these grants to the north and was of those we have already considered. . . .

     [p. 165] On a portion of the Santa Anita was E.J. Baldwin’s celebrated orange orchards, vineyards and stock breeding establishment . . .

     The Island of Santa Catalina, while in the Pacific Ocean, is geographically situated within Los Angeles County. Its grantee was Jose Maria Covarrubias, the father of Nick Covarrubias, several times Sheriff of Santa Barbara County and, at one time United States Marshall of this district.  It contained 45,220 acres and was patented April 10, 1867, to James Lick, who had purchased it from Covarruvbias  . . . [p. 166]

     The foregoing ranchos described in detail herein comprise all of the grants embraced in Los Angeles County as the county existed in 1875 and before Orange County was carved out of is southeast corner.

     What occurred in Los Angeles County as to grants, from the King of Spain or from the Governors of Mexico, or from the Governors of California, acting under decrees of the departmental assembly, occurred all over the State of California. Wherever there was good pasture and water, you will find these grants. Much government land fell in between some of them, the title to which has been acquired in various manners under the laws regulating the disposition of United States Government lands. One can readily understand what a prolific source of litigation was the settlement of the title, and the partitioning of these various grants among their numerous owners.

[p. 167] Chap. XIX  Stock Growers Custom. Change from a Pastoral to a Farming Community.

     . . .

     [p. 168] . . .

     In time, however, the demand for wheat lessened as the production of it was increased in foreign countries. By the time, our people, ever alert and progressive, found that the lands first devoted to wheat and other grains are well suited for the growth of vines and deciduous fruits. In Southern Californa, the orange had been introduced by the Mission Fathers. With the coming of the Americans to this portion of the state, the acreage in oranges was largely increased, and in Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange, San Bernardino and portions of Ventura County, the orange, and subsequently the lemon, have become, and remain, staple productions. 

     California soon had a great reputation for its excellent wines and brandies. The grapes introduced by the Mission Fathers were what was called the Mission grape, and were very popular for many years. I once heard Mr. B. Dreyfus, one of the large vineyard owners of Anaheim, say that our people would go a long time before they [p.169] found another grape which could make five varieties of wine and an excellent brandy. To my mind, there is no better grape than the Mission, when it is thoroughly ripe. In time, improved foreign varieties of grapes were introduced on a large scale. For many years it was supposed that Southern California could not make a claret to compare with those of Sonoma and Napa Counties but latterly this was proven to be erroneous. I have claret, made by two different wineries in Los Angeles County, put  into my cellar in pre-Volstead days, of which I did not think much at the time I bought them. However, after holding them some ten years, I now find them as good as any claret that I ever tasted. 

     Southern California especially excelled in sweet wines. The old Angelica, Muscatel and Port, of this section, are as good as any that can be found anywhere. Mr. L.J. Rose, at his celebrated place, “Sunny Slope” in the San Gabriel Valley, had excellent success with two white wines, one called “Burger,” and the other “Blaue Elbin.” Both L.J. Rose and E.J. Baldwin also made a most excellent brandy. Just when this industry was at the peak of its importance, the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution was passed , and while it is by no means enforced under the Volstead Act, it has certainly crippled an industry that brought great wealth and an excellent reputation to the Golden State.

     . . .  When the Pacific Electric Railway line was built out Huntington Drive, I donated the right of way through my property in front of my house, so that we now have lands on each side of the tracks. I kept my cows,  at that time, in an oak grove on the north side of the tracks. A Chinaman, named Ah Yu, milked them. H.A. Unruh, Baldwin’s agent, for whom I had done [p. 170] some favor, told me that he was going to send a 25-gallon barrel of brandy . . .

      The deciduous fruit industry has grown to enormous proportions . .  .

     Here in Southern California, first the grapefruit, and next avocados, have assumed very considerable commercial importance.

     . . .

     [p.171]  . . . As time went on, the lowly bean became a staple in Southern California.You can ride for hours and hours, at this writing (April 1927) and see the ground thoroughly prepared for bean culture. 

     . . .

     [p. 172]  [A] danger here is that our population is going to be so great that much productive land will bee used for townsites and residential purposes.  

     [p. 173 ] There is a string of settlements along the foothills between Alhambra  and Pasadena. The first was that of H.D. Bacon. He lived in the adobe house still standing in front of the Raymond Hotel. He sold it to Walter Raymond the site of the Raymond Hotel. South and east of the lands he owned there. where Oneonta is now situated, he owned 1,200 acres of land under fence, without a house on it  . . . 

     [p. 174] . . .  Still east of the Winton property came the beautiful place of L.H. Titus, and then “Sunny Slope,’ one of the most celebrated estates in Southern California, made famous by L.J. Rose for oranges, wine, brandy and trotting stock.

     Beyond “Sunny Slope” was the large estate of Mr. A.B. Chapman, a prominent lawyer of early days, and long a member of the firm of Glassell, Chapman, & Smith. Next to Chapman came 6,500 acres of the Santa Anita Ranch, which was purchased of Newmark & Cohn by E.G. Baldwin, and rendered by him as famous for the production of running stock as “Sunny Slope” was for trotting stock. 

     . . .

[p. 176] Chapter XX Modes of Amusement  in 1875; Ludovici’s Punch, and what came of it.

     [p.175] In 1875,  there were few amusements provided for the people of Los Angeles. The young people arranged driving parties and picnics. Driving behind good roadsters was universally practiced. The Germans, and there were many of them, in the spring and summer had frequent picnics at Sycamore Grove, in the Arroyo Seco. They were largely attended by many people who were not Germans. The Turnverein society had athletic exhibitions and foot races. There was a pavilion, where dancing was indulged in. There was singing by glee clubs, considerable drinking of beer, and a general good time was had by all who attended. 

     There was no accommodations at the beaches. Some of the leading families were accustomed to erect large tents in Santa Monica Canyon, and for a brief spell in hot weather, enjoy surf bathing. 

     [Mr. Graves then gives a revealing account of a Fourth of July picnic in Eaton Canyon Park where a foreigner’s punch challenges sobriety and the understanding of the law.]

     [p. 188] Chapter XXI This County a hunter’s paradise. duck shoot in 1877. Gun Clubs. 

     From the time Southern California was settled, until as late as 1890, the entire country was a paradise for the hunter of small game. In 1875, my first shooting was with the doves, then a little later, with the quail. When winter came, duck, geese, and snipe were all abundant. There were good natural ponds of fresh water on the Rodeo de las Aguas, on the Cienega Rancho and the Ballona, and at what was known as “Nigger Slough,” on the road to Wilmington. In fact, there were ponds, in winter time, all over the county, from Santa Monica to San Pedro. In that section, geese were also very thick. After a day spent in that region, one would wake up in the night with the ‘honk, honk, honk” of the Oregon gray goose  ringing in his ears. 

     I was coming from that region, after a successful shoot with Mr. S.H. Buchanan, an architect here, in the winter of 1878,  when way ahead of us, honking loudly, and very high in the sky, came a lone Oregon gray goose. My gun was in the case and Buchanan was driving.  I asked him to stop, “What are you trying to do?  That goose is a mile high.” . . .  I lead him well and fired. Much to my astonishment he crumpled up and came down within twenty feet of us. He was an enormous bird.

     [p. 189] When we we got into Los Angeles, a little after dark, we stopped at Mr. J.M. Griffith’s home, on Fort Street, and I took the goose to him. I was invited to family dinner. a few days later, at which the goose was served. Mrs. Griffith told me that, dressed, that is, picked and drawn, he weighed an even fifteen pounds. This was the biggest wild goose I ever saw in all my shooting days. 

     . . .

     [p. 190, 191]  . . .

     In time. with the drainage of damp lands. and the breaking up of mesa lands for grain crops, which involved the disturbing of sage brush and other bushy growths, duck, quail and dove shooting began to get somewhat poorer. We had to go further from the city to fill our bags . . .

     At an early date duck clubs were formed. One of the first was the Recreation. just back of Santa Monica. Ponds are now maintained there with water pumped from drilled wells. I shot at the Recreation many years. Its present members still get a little shooting, and their lands are now worth a marvelous sum, but the days of duck shooting are numbered.

     At the Recreation Gun Club, when it came to scraping the sky for high-flying ducks, John Hauerwaas was held high gun. He was a powerfully built, heavy-chested man, as large as two ordinary men. When the rest of us would use four drams of powder to a charge, he would use six and did not seem to mind the recoil. He certainly could reach the ducks at a long distance from the earth. 

     The Del Rey Club adjoined the Recreation. There were several other clubs in that region. 

     . . . .

     [p. 192]  . . . 

        . . . at the Westminister. Frequently, Walter Chanslor, of Chanslor-Lyon Company, Duffy Schwarz, Karl Klokke, and sometimes Walter Leeds and myself, would go down to the club in someone’s car. One day Mr. Chanslor was driving his car and with him were Schwarz, Klokke and myself. When near Artesia there was a citron, shaped like a watermelon, lying in the road. It is a Chinese importation and is sometimes called “pie melon.” It is so tough that you can throw one twenty feet in the air and let it fall on a cement sidewalk, and it will not burst. Chanslor said,”See me smash the watermelon,”  I was on the front seat with him. He hit the citron in the center, and things began to happen. He was running fully forty miles an hour. The citron was not injured. The car reared up, nearly turned over, then skidded from one side of the road to the other, and finally brought up, head on, before a two-foot pepper tree. We stopped not six inches from it. We might all have been seriously injured, if not killed. After that Chanslor passed up all “watermelons” lying in the road.

     The Chinese citron is well liked by stock, but has to [p. 193]  be cut up before they can eat it. As long as I had Chinese working at my place in the San Gabriel Valley, they always grew a couple of hills of them near their house.  They carefully put them away in the fall, and all winter long cooked them as we do squash and ate them with much relish. 

     . . .

     [p. 193] [To illustrate his profound understanding of and relationship to with duck hunting, the author, Graves, writing in 1927, recounts his January 1911 article in McGroaty’s West Coast Magazine, where in or a] Walter Chansler, at 3:30 pm,  Friday, November 11, 1910,  picks the author up from his office: “Exchanging a ride on an electric car, to be followed by a two-mile drive in a wagon behind a slow team, in the dark, for a rapid auto drive, was a great joy for me. We shoot on the Saturday’s squad at the Westminister Gun Club in Orange County.  Those of us who shoot on that day assemble at the club house on Friday night. 

     . . . 

     [p. 194] We went out Central Avenue, turned to the left, through Huntington Park, past Bell’s Station to Downey, and on towards Norwalk. A little beyond Downey, a flat tire held us up until a new inner tube was inserted. We again sped on, leaving Norwalk to the left, passed through Artesia,  and on to the Alamitoes beet sugar factory. It was rapidly getting dark. Notwithstanding that fact, the road was full of teams, loaded with beets, going to the factory, or empty, or loaded with beet pulp, coming from it. 

     The best pulp is used for cattle feed. It smells to heaven-and a little further. I never learned where Limburger cheese gets its awful odor. After some experience with beet pulp, my guess is that after the cheese is made it is buried in that odoriferous product to cure. At any rate, if Limburger smells any worse than the beet pulp, I will acknowledge that I am not an expert on “odors.”

     From here we sped along for about ten miles, and finally arrived at the club. A bountiful supper, well cooked and palatable, satisfied our appetites, sharpened as they were by the drive in the open air.  Then we read and chatted and loafed away the evening, some of the younger members even indulging in a game of Old Maid and Solitaire until bedtime. 

     We were to be called at five o’clock. I went to sleep at once upon retiring, and it seemed but a few moments until the keeper rapped on my door. Up I jumped. We were soon in our hunting togs and at the breakfast table. The night before we had selected our blinds.  No. 7 fell to me.

     Breakfast over, each man took his gun and shells and hiked out in darkness to his blind. Reaching mine, I put out my decoys, arranged my shells for handy use, got into my blind, and awaited the call of “time.” This is [p. 195] done by the tolling of a bell hung on the top of our barn, which can be heard for miles around. Just thirty minutes before sunrise, the tolling of the bell broke the stillness. Usually at this hour the air is full of ducks, startled from the ponds by the hunters going to their blinds. This morning there was not a duck in sight. Not even a mudhen cluttered away in hurried alarm. South of us the surf beat upon the ocean’s shore with a dull roar. Chickens crowed, geese cackled, turkeys gobbled, the cows lowed and the horses neighed, at all the surrounding farms. In the shooting line—“nothing doing.” Piff! A poacher on the road shoots at something. Bang! Someone on the Blue Wing grounds  gets a shot. Then someone on our grounds takes a long chance at a “sky-scraper” hurrying to the ocean. Presently a teal, flying low, almost ran into me. As he veered off, ducking, darting, twisting, turning, I reached him with my right barrel, and he fell, quite dead, a crumpled mass, the light of his joyous life gone. 

     We all waited, just a shot her and there breaking the stillness. Two more teal hurtled by. Rising quickly, I dropped one good and dead and crippled the other. He fell in  No. 6, but I never got him. 

     It was a beautiful morning. Just the faintest sort of an east wind sprang up, raising little ripples on the placid waters of our ponds. The heavens were enveloped in dark gray masses of somber clouds. Catalina and the mountains north of Los Angeles were entirely shut out of view. Signal Hill, north of Long Beach, and the Palos Verdes hills,  could be dimly seen. The air was as soft as the velvet cheek of a new-born babe, and as balmy as the breath of a midsummer morning. 

     Someone calls, “Look at the sunrise.!” The sun had really risen some time before, but was shut out by the [p. 196] clouds. About ten degrees above the horizon there was a circular rift in the cloud mass. Through this shafts of sunlight, like burnished gold, streamed, brilliantly illuminating the frayed edges of the cloud rift,  and for a few moments the inner lining of the clouds, which darkened the sky, assumed a purple tinge of reflected light, which faded quickly away as the sun ascended. When the sung had completely passed the cloud rift, through that little break we could see the sky, miles beyond, clear, brilliant, radiant in the light. It was like looking into another world, another atmosphere. But soon the sullen cloud-blanket became a solid mass of frowning gray, and the rift of light was gone, for the day, and there hung all around us a water-laden mass of rough, tousled clouds, through which not a ray of sunlight penetrated. 

     We sat and waited. Not fifty shots had yet been fired on our grounds. How the memories of the past surged through my brain! All the joys of my life, and there have been many, were quickly reviewed. All my sorrows, and there have been enough, quickly followed. All my successes and my triumphs, my defeats and my failures, passed in quick review. The cobwebs of the brain were brushed aside, and the history of the past stood out clearly, bringing memories of pleasures past, of pain and sorrow, grief and woe. 

     The whirr of swiftly-beaten wings brought me back to the living reality of the present moment, and I missed a pair of sprig, which hurried on with frightened speed, to be bombarded by other guns along the way, until they disappeared towards the ocean. 

     The ducks were coming a little better now. Over in No. 8 I saw Chandler pick a black speck from the very clouds . . . The [p. 197] surrounding clubs kept up a pretty fusillade. Then all would be quiet for quite a time, when another small band of feathered wanderers would again arouse us to rapid action.

     Far off toward the south, I saw the glad figures of eight big sprig, headed my way . .  . they wheeled around and were off in the direction whence they came. 

     Now I got a widgeon, then a teal, then another teal, and finally a sprig.  A few drops of rain fell, and I thought we were surely in for a soaking. 

     In a long lull in the shooting I went out and gathered up my kill. Nine I found. Sixteen more to make the limit. Would I get them? Coming from the north, high up in the air, I saw a band of sprig. They were so high, no one shot at them. Just as they came over me, I selected a leader, held well ahead of him and pulled the trigger. To my astonishment I saw him waver. I swung to another and crack went the gun. He, too, followed, and both of the crippled birds came whirling to the water. They were only crippled and I took no chance of losing them. Away I went through the mud and water, and soon I had wrung the neck of each of them. They were magnificent birds, and raised my count to eleven. I had, in getting them, stepped into a hole, going over my boot-top, and my right boot was full of water. Getting back to my blind, I lay down on my back, stuck my foot in the air and got rid of most of the water. Fortunately, it was a warm morning, and I suffered no inconvenience. 

     [p. 198] Turning my head I saw a very large  sprig coming toward me, close to the water. He was already too close . . .  Up he mounted higher and higher and higher, and finally sped out of sight. 

     Here I am, fifty-eight years old, following the game as I learned it in my younger days. I cannot see a letter in a page of coarse print without my glasses, but I could see a duck, even in that darkened atmosphere, miles away. and name the family to which it belonged. 

     . . . Let those who wonder why we do it try it once, then they will understand the fascination and joy of it  . . .

J.A. Graves My Seventy Years in California, Los Angeles: The Times-Mirror Press, 1927, 478 pp. 

[p. 275] Chapter XXXIV People Vs. Wong Chew Shut

     I never had much experience with criminal cases.  One, that of Wong Chew Shut, satisfied me . . .

     . . .

     [p. 279] Two other cases, those of the People vs. Waller and the People vs. Parker, were both tried by Brunson and Eastman, the first in the latter part of January, 1878, and the latter in March of the same year, and are worth mentioning. 

     Baker and Jones owned all the land at Santa Monica, down to low-water mark. People were continually squatting upon this land. Wallace was the keeper of the company’s bath-house. A carpenter, named Fonck, an excitable German, started to erect a bath-house just north of the company’s bath-house, for Mrs. Doria Jones, of this city. Waller, who, at this time, was standing on the porch of the bath-house, ordered Fonck off. Fonck threatened Waller with his hammer and swore at him vigorously.  A son of Waller’s, who was shooting sandpipers on the beach with a muzzle-loading shotgun, loaded with pieces of lead-pipe, cut into slugs, instead of shot, was passing. Waller called to him and he passed the gun to his father. Fonck was still abusing Waller and threatening him with the hammer. Waller cocked the gun. He had had a felon on his thumb and had lost the bone in the last joint of it. As Fonck had quieted down and agreed to remove the timber from the lot, Waller attempted to let down the hammer of the gun. His thumb, minus the bone in the last joint, would not hold the hammer. The gun was discharged, hitting Fonck in the ankle and breaking the bone. His companions carried him up the bluff, to a grocery store. A sack of meal was cut [p. 280] open, the bleeding ankle thrust into it and more meal poured over it, while a man hustled off on horseback to Los Angeles, to get Dr. Joseph Kurtz. Necessarily, some hours elapsed before the doctor arrived. In the meantime, the meal had stopped the flow of blood and Fonck was resting comfortably. All hands, including the injured man, drank considerable beer. After a time some one suggested that they hose off the meal and see how the leg was getting along. They carried Fonck to a grass-plot, turned the hose on the injured limb, a severe hemorrhage set in, and just before Dr. Kurtz arrived, Fronck died from loss of blood. 

     Both Waller and Parker, who was the superintendent of the Santa Monica Land Company which owned the bath-house, were indicted. Waller was tried, told his story to the jury and was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, and imprisoned for one year in the state prison. Each of the jurors signed a petition to the court asking leniency for the defendent. During the trial, and before the grand jury which indicted the defendants, a witness named Suits swore he had heard Parker tell Waller to keep people off the beach if he had to do it with a shotgun. After the Waller trial, Eastman persuaded Suits to take a trip to Lower California, so as not to be here when Parker was tried. The trial was postponed on account of Suits' absence, and Suits did not stay there as long as he was expected to. Col. Baker and Eastman were indicted for conspiracy. They both plead guilty and Eastman made an eloquent plea for the exoneration of Baker and took the blame upon himself. Eastman was fined $1,000 and Col. Baker $600, both of which were paid. 

     Parker’s case was heard on March 1st, 1878. The newspapers made a great outcry over the matter, denouncing the Santa Monica Land Company, Jones, Baker, and the firm of Brunson & Eastman, and the public was greatly excited. Parker was not within three miles of the beach when Fonck was shot. He was convicted of murder in the second degree. There never was a greater legal outrage perpetrated by a jury. If Parker was guilty of murder in the second degree, Waller should undoubtedly have been hung. If Waller was only guilty of involuntary manslaughter, Parker was never guilty of anything.

[p. 282] Chapter XXXV Downfall of James G. Eastman. Practicing On My Own Account. Early Experiences. Reminiscences of J.S. Chapman. Organization of the First Abstract Company.

     . . .

     [p. 291]  . . .

      I found Mr. Chapman [Graves and Chapman, 1880-1885] a very able lawyer and a splendid man to work with. The only objection I could possibly raise to his method was his extreme technicality. He would, as I thought waste time on things that did not amount to anything, but sometimes they won out. For instance—A.B. Hotchkiss was district attorney of San Diego County. It was rumored that he had accepted a bribe of $300 to dismiss a tax case pending against Govenor John G. Downey and Louis Phillips, who then owned the Warners Ranch. Dismissal of the suit defeated  the action, because the statute of limitations had run and a new action could not be brought. In a spasm of virtue, the San Diego Bar Association met and determined to take proceedings to disbar Hotchkiss. At the meeting, Major Chase, A.M. Luce and another attorney were appointed to bring the proceedings. Wallace Leech, one of the ablest lawyers in San Diego, was at the meeting, and he told the assemblage that, having appointed somebody to prosecute Hotchkiss, thay had to appoint somebody to defend him.  The Bar Association refused to do so. Then Leech said, “I will defend him.” Chase and Leech were partners, so the rather anomalous conditions arose of one partner prosecuting and one defending poor Hotchkiss. Another singular thing it was that, a few days before, Hotchkiss and Leech had had a fight in court  and were not on speaking terms. A trial was had and Hotchkiss was disbarred.  Leech appealed and one [p. 292] day he walked into our office with a transcript on appeal and said:

     “Boys (speaking to Chapman and myself), you have got to help me out. I am going to reverse this case or break a leg trying to.”

     I took the transcript, which was very short, ran over it hurriedly, told him I did not see much chance of reversal, and he said: “Let Chapman examine it.”

     Chapman was busy and he told Leech to give it to him and he would take it home that night, which he did. Next morning he came in, Leech was there, and he said to him:

     “I have a ray of hope. The statute providing for the disbarment of an attorney provides that the complaint filed against him must be verified before a notary public. The complaint in this case was verified before a United States Commissioner.”

     I did not notice it; probably would never have done so. Leech, who was vitally interested, had not noticed it, but as I have stated, Chapman was always looking for technicalities. We filed a brief, raising that point, and the supreme court reversed the case because the complaint had not been properly verified, but by that time the remittitur went down, the enthusiasm of the Bar Association had died out, and there was never anything further done in the matter. 

      . . . 

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 Kelyn Roberts 2017