Also called:  Pleito y Toros or en el Rio Sacramento

1836, Jacinto Rodriquez, California native first mentioned in public record as  lieutenent of militia and employed by Alvarado.

1839, Alferez of the Monterey Company aiding in the arrest of the foreigners in 1840.

1843-1846, Celador of the Monterey and San Francisco custom-house.

1844 September, Eight square leagues in Colusa County (35,487.52 acres) granted by Governor Manuel Micheltorena to Jacinto Rodriguez.~ 

1845, Named in the Branciforte padron as 31 years old; wife, Guadalupe ____; Children: Rafaela, 1832; Concepcion, 1835; Guadalupe, 1836; and, Josefa, 1839.

1846, William H. McKee, Scotch physician at Monterey who possibly came a year or two earlier. Often named in records of 1846-48 at Monterey, San Jose, and Sacramento, where in 1848 he seems to have engaged in trade. It is said McKee married a daughter of Estevan Munras and was still living in 1885 at Monterey and/or San Francisco.

1847, William H. McKee purchased from Jacinto Rodriguez his Sacramento River land grant.

1849, Jacinto Rodriquez, Alcalde at Monterey and member of the Constitutional Convention.

1852, McKee claimant for the Jacinto Rancho, Colusa.

1859 September 19, Patent date for 35,487.52 acres with the Sacramento River as a meandering watercourse awarded to William H. McKee.~

1867, Hugh James Glenn bought 8,000 acres on the north end of the Jacinto. "From time to time he added to his holdings until he had purchased the entire forty-two thousand acres, and also, six thousand acres from the Larkin heirs."

1874, Jacinto R. still living in Monterey and a man of of some property.

1883 February 19, Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, PA) - ASSASSINATED - A Prominent California Ranchman and Politician Killed - San Francisco, Feb 18, A dispatch from Princeton, Colusa County, says:  "Dr. H. J. Glenn, the largest wheat raiser of th State, who ran for Governor on the Democratic ticket in 1879, was shot on his ranch, at Jacinto, yesterday, by H. Miller, his bookkeeper, and died to-day. Miller refused to surrender until shot in the knee by R. M. Cochrane, Glenn's superintendent, when he was arrested. The only cause yet known for the shooting is that Miller did not give satisfaction as bookkeeper and was discharged."~



Larkin's Children

Rancho Capay was the first Mexican Land Grant made within the limits of Colusa county, the second was made to the children of Thomas Oliver Larkin. Sometimes called Children's Rancho, Larkin's Rancho or Upper Farm, the reference was to land on the west bank of the Sacramento River above the town of Colusa.

Born in California, Carolina, Sophia and Francis Larkin were baptized into the Catholic faith in Monterey within days of their births and were eligible for citizenship. In 1844, Thomas O. Larkin applied to Governor Michetorena for their naturalization decrees and a land grant in their names.

1844 July 6-John Bidwell mapped out the Larkin grant on the Sacramento River above Colusa.

The northern boundary was about seven and a half miles north of the present Glenn-Colusa County line. The land extended southward along the river and included the site of the present-day town of Princeton.

"On the 6th of July 1844, I selected and mapped Larkin's children's grant, which was first settled on by John S. Williams, under the employ of Larkin, and extensively stocked with cattle and horses in the fall of of 1846 or early in 1847, at least when I returned from the Mexican War - that is, from San Diego-I found Williams there. He left in 1848, I believe, and C. B. Sterling took his place." - John Bidwell~

1844 December 13, Naturalization decrees issued to Carolina, Sophia and Francis Larkin, minor children of Thomas & Rachel Larkin.~

1844 December 14, Land Grant with acreage in Colusa County (and what became Glenn County) dated 14 December 1844 to the three minor children of Thomas Oliver Larkin. Larkin, a native of Massachusetts came to California in 1832 and was the U.S. Consul at Monterey after 1843, never became a Mexican citizen, so he could not personally receive the grant.~

1857 December 18 - Patent Date for Larkin's Children Rancho. The Sacramento River was the meandering watercourse  and there were 44,364.22 acres.~

1858 August 28, New York Herald (NY,NY) - Died at Larkin's Ranch, Colusi County, July 15, William J. Brown, formerly of Greyson County, Virginia.~


New Breisgau

1841 December 13, John Sutter agreed to buy Fort Ross from the Russians. Robert Ridley became Sutter's first caretaker.

1842, Robert Livermore drove a herd of 2,000 head of cattle from Fort Ross to Sutter's Marysville location.

1843, Samuel Smith replaced Ridley as caretaker. William Benitz replaced Smith. Benitz also ran the Muniz Rancho granted to Manuel Torres by Governor Pio Pico.

1844 July 20, Mexican land grant in Upper California (Sacramento River, Shasta County) obtained by Wilhelm Benitz on 20 July 1844, from Governor Manuel Micheltorena.

Wilhelm Benitz was born 8 February 1815 in Endingen, Grand Duchy of Baden, Germany to Franz Antonius and Maria Anna Wagner Benitz. Franz Antonius Benitz and his father, Thaddeus, were master coopers, barrel or cask makers. Wilhelm received an education in Endingen and went to the univesrity or a trade school in Freiburg. Wilhelm spoke Badischen, the dialect of German spoken in Baden.

According to family story, Wilhelm Benitz left Germany at age 17 years as a sailor on a merchant brig. Apparently the ship wrecked off the coast of Mexico and he was lucky to be alive and living with local natives.

He was in Texas in 1836 and 1837. Proof showed up in the form of a voucher for land he sold. He had received the land voucher for service in the military for the Republic of Texas from October 1836 to August 1837.

It is fairly certain Benitz arrived in California in 1842. In 1843, John Yates took him to Sacramento to seek employment with John Sutter. The agreement was made, and Benitz worked for Sutter, first in the Marysville hop farm and then he was assigned to Fort Ross which Sutter obtained from the Russians when they left in 1841. Sutter was more interested in moving the contents of the fort to New Helvetia than making it a profitable business.

While working for Sutter, Wilhelm Benitz became a naturalized Mexican Citizen in Mendocino County on 15 June 1844. His papers were signed by Governor Manuel Micheltorena. It is possible this was the first step in seeking a land grant that Benitz probably hoped would be in the Fort Ross area.

In 1844, Benitz served 6-8 months as a lieutenant in the Sacramento Rifleman under John Sutter. This supposedly gave Bentiz the right to occupy the New Breisgau, but did not confirm title. However, some months later in San Luis Obispo, Benitz in serving with the riflemen, brought in Miquel Abila as a prisoner. This so pleased Micheltorena that he infomed Benitz the land was confirmed to him.

The New Breisgau along with other grants were confirmed in December 1844. The acreage was "up the Sacramento river on the east side" across from Pierson B. Reading's Rancho Bueno Ventura. The number of acres may have been exaggerated, but was supposedly five Spanish leagues or 22,140 acres that began one half mile south of the mouth of modern day Battle Creek (the same creek has been called Clover Creek, Sycamore Creek, Noza or Nozi Creek, Arroyo de la Campana and finally Battle Creek), south along the river 2 1/2 leagues to include Bloody Island, then north and west to the point of beginning.

It is uncertain if Benitz even visited the land he called New Breisgau. He did, however, try to "occupy and improve" by having John Yates and a French Canadian by the name of Julian erect a building and plant some seeds in March of 1845. Benitz intended to use the land to graze cattle. Yates remained only 12 days as he was fearful of the Indians. Julian remained, but was killed by Indians within six months of occupying the land.

1845, Benitz with partners, Ernest Rufus and Charles Theodore Meyer leased Fort Ross from Sutter. Later in the same year, the lease was with Manuel Torres, as the Mexican authorities rejected Sutter's claim and granted it to Torres.

1846 June 14, brought the Bear Flag Revolt and flag raising on the Sonoma Plaza.

1847, Yerba Buena officially became San Francisco.

1847 February 23, Benitz married. - Josephine Kolmer (born Josefa Kollmerer, 6 January 1830, in Endingen, Baden Germany) arrived with her parents Michael and Josefa Wagner Kolmer and siblings in October 1845 at Sutter's Fort as part of the Grigsby/Brown/Ide Overland Party. Wilhelm Benitz knew Michael Kollmer from Endingen. Benitz signed a bond for the family's entry to California.

It was no surprise that William and Josephine were destined for matrimony. The union was formalized by a Justice of the Peace on 23 February 1847 and is the third entry in the Sonoma County Registry of Marriages.

1851-1852, From as early as 1848, others began to settle or "squat" on land within the Benitz' Sacramento Valley land grant. Dr. James F. Winsell, Alexander Love, Samuel B. Sheldon,  John W. Parks, S. D. Baker, D.D. Harrill, Freeman, Andrew Jelly and possibly others made claims to portions of the grant land and most received patents from the United States Goverment in 1861.

1853 June 27, Letter from William Benitz to his brother in Germany written when in Sonoma, California on business from Fort Ross contained this translated from German:  "My partner and I have 2 camps, one of 20,000 acres and one of 11,000; the latter we have sold for $26,000 - but the one we still have is much more valuable. I have lived there for 10 years already. I have another property of 25,000 acres up the Sacramento river, which belongs to me alone and which was given to me by the Spanish Government. I have named this piece of land 'New Breisgau' this also have been inserted in the map. Till next spring it will be decided whether I remain here or not; in the first case I will keep Fort Ross and New Breisgau; besides I have invested $36,000 which gives me $500. a month." ~

1855 December 24 - "In Shasta County records of December 24, 1855, is recorded a deed from G.W. Beck to Jeremiah Clark for the sum of $510., one undivided one-fourth of the Breisgau grant. Also Wm. Bennitz conveys to George Beck one undivided one-half of said grant for $1,000. These are the first discovered records of this grant in Shasta County." - Rosena Giles in her book Shasta County California A History, 1949.

1856 September 22, Portion of letter from William Benitz to brother in Germany written from Fort Ross: "Everything is now in better order, our land litigations have been cleared and we are looking forward to a better future. Of course I have had great losses, which although didn't puzzle me. I lost $12,000. in cash and 14,500 acres of land at New Breisgau where they left me 7,500 acres. Fort Ross and all its belongings is all to myself and free of debts. I have got there 17,600 acres, 900 head of cattle, 200 horses and 900 sheep. In agriculture I don't do as much as I used to. . ."

1863 May 20, Daily Alta California, BORN - At Fort Ross, Mendocino county, April 28th to the wife of William Benitz, a son.

1867, James W. Dixon purchased 6,000 acres from Benitz at Fort Ross. Also, Charles Fairfax purchased 7,000 acres from Benitz at Fort Ross.

1877 May 23, Fort Ross Post Office established in Sonoma County with George W. Call as the first postmaster. It was discontinued 1928 November 30 when the service moved to Duncans Mills.

1912 September 27, San Francisco Call, PIONEER OF OAKLAND DIES IN ARGENTINA - Oakland, Sept 26. - Word has been received of the death of Mrs. Josephine Benitz, a pioneer of Oakland and widow of William Benitz, Sr., last Friday in Villa Josephine la Cumbre, Argentine Republic. Mrs. Benitz was 82 years old. She came to this city in the early sixties. The Benitz block at the northeast corner of Broadway and Tenth Street was erected by the family. They left here years ago and settled in Argentina. Of a family of seven children three survive. Two of the children, Alfred and John Benitz live in Argentina. The family was prominent in the early history of Oakland and will be remembered by old residents.~


Rancho Barranca Colorada

Barranca - Spanish word for ravine or gulch. Colorada - Spanish word for red. Barranca Colorada, red ravine.

1844 December 22, Josiah Belden (1815-1892) in 1844 received 17,707.49 acres in Tehama County near Red Bluff as a Mexican Land Grant from Manuel Micheltorena. Belden did not live on the land and had an arrangement with William Brown Ide (1796-1852) to occupy the land on his behalf. The grant was on the west side of the Sacramento River, south of Red Bluffs, and bordered by the Rancho de las Flores grant on the south.~

1847 July 3, Californian - KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS, that I, Richard B. Mason, Colonel 1st Regiment Dragoons, United States Army, and Governor of California, by virtue of authority in me vested, do hereby appoint WILLIAM B. IDE LAND SURVEYOR, for and in, the Northern department of Upper California.

Done at Monterey, Upper California, this 7th day of June A.D. 1847 and the 71st of the Independnece of the United States.  (Signed) R.B. MASON, Col 1st Drag's, and Gov. of California.


1847 July 3, Californian - MARRIED - On the 17th ult. at Cash Creek by W.B. Ide, Esq., Mr. John S. Williams of Sacramento valley, to Miss Mariah L. Gordon late of Independence, MO.~

1847 October 27, Californian - WANTED - A young man acquainted with the use of the compass, will find good employment by applying to W. B. IDE (Sonoma, July 1847)~

1847 November 3, Californian - NOTICE - The undersigned will attend to such surveys as may be entrusted to his care, for $4 per mile for horizontal lines; establishing corners $1, for recording, copies of filed notes, executing maps, &c., the accustomary prices. Twenty-five per cent discount for cash down.

Letters addressed W.B. Ide, Sonoma, U.C., will meet attention.

WILLIAM B. IDE. Land Surveyor, in and for the Northern Department, U.C.~

1848 February 19, California Star - Marine Journal - Feb 18:  Brig Malek Adhel, Phelps, for Monterey - Passengers - Messrs. McNeis, Wm. B. Ide, James Gleason, R.M. Sherman, Lewin Dent, J. Frankford, H. Caldwell and Eli Southworth, Supercargo.~

Sonoma, July 1847      10-tf~

1852 April 21, Daily Alta California, U.S. Land Commissioners - Claims filed since our last report:  By Wm. B. Ide: No. 185, of himself, to rancho de la Barransa Colorado, in Colusa county. 1844.~

1853 November 1, Sacramento Daily Union - THE BEAR FLAG - The original Bear Flag of California was painted with the juice of the pokeweed, or common garget berry, on a piece of plain cotton cloth. The artist was Judge Ide, late of Colusa County, and now deceased.~

1855 October 12, San Francisco Bulletin (San Francisco, California) - Business Cards - Thomas O. Larkin, Josiah Belden Office - Upstairs, 123 Montgomery Street, corner of Sacrameto Street.~

1857 February 8, Wide West - Married - At the Luna House, Red Bluff, by E.W. Goodrich, Esq. on 8 January 1857, James M. Ide to Mrs. Lydia A. Holly.~

1858 January 20, Daily Alta California - BIRTHS - At Ide's Ranch, Jan. 10th the wife of Lucian B. Healy, of a daughter.~

1858 June 12, Daily Alta California - District Court of Tehama County - DIVORCE FROM A MORMON WOMAN - Daniel W. Ide has filed a complaint in the District Court for this county, against his wife, Azelia Ide, alledging desertion and unwomanly conduct on the part of the said Azelia Ide towards him (her husband), and praying for a divorce.

If ever mortal man had good grounds for a divorce, we think Ide has. They were married in Ohio, in the year 1850, and up to the time of her leaving him entirely in the latter part of  1857, when she went to Salt Lake to join the Mormons, she scarcely spoke to him except to tantalize him, telling him frequently that she knew he was rich, owned a grant of land and all that sort of thing, and that she only married him in order to get hold of a portion of his money, and that she intended to have it. There are also other counts in the complaint, which insomuch as they relate entirely to domestic affairs, we forbear to mention. - Red Bluff Beacon.~

1860 July 3- Patent Date for 17,707.49 acre Barranca (La) Colorada in the name of Ide. William B. Ide died in 1852. His heirs were on the granted land in Tehama County, California.~

1861 April 18, Red Bluff Beacon - Advertisement - Valuable Farms For Sale - The undersigned offers for sale in quantities to suit purchasers about FIVE THOUSAND ACRES of the well known grant "Ide's Ranch" or Rancho de la Barranca Colorado, situated about 3 miles south of Red Bluff; about 1,100 acres is under good fence, and almost 800 acres is now in crop.

This tract of land is equal if not superior to any land in the Sacramento Valley.

The title is unquestioned being a Patent from the United States. I will give warranty Deeds.

I will offer favorable inducements to actual settlers.

For further particulars, inquire of Messrs. Faril & Myrick, Red Bluff, or of the undersigned, on the Grant. - J.M. Ide

Ide's Ranch April 4, 1861 - 3 m.

1862 March 14, Red Bluff Independent - Strayed or Stolen - From the Rawson Ranch on Ide's Bottom, about the12th Inst., a Chestnut Sorrel Mare, has one white hind foot and one white fore foot, short mane, and strip of white in the face, about 15 1/2 hands high. A liberal reward will be paid for any informastion concerning the above by:  M.M. Tompkins, Red Bluff or, Rawson Bros, Ide's Bottom - Feb 18, "62.~

1892 April 25, New York Herald-Tribune- Obituary -Josiah Belden, who died at his home, No. 7 West Fifty First St.[New York City], on Saturday, was born in the town of Cromwell, Middlesex County, Connecticut formerly known as Upper Middletown, on May 4, 1815. He was a descendent from one of two brothers who settled in Wethersfield, Conn. in 1645. After receiving an ordinary common school education, he was left an orphan in 1829, and had to rely entirely upon his own exertions. Actuated by a spirit of adventure, he went west and in St. Louis met three other young men who were bound for the Pacific Coast. With these he joined his fortunes and the four went up the Missouri River to the town of Independence, where they found others who were preparing to go to California. Uniting their capital, horses, mules and oxen were purchased and on May 10, 1841, the little band began their adventurous journey. They joined the first party of overall and explorers, a company consisting of sixty men and one woman. One-third of the party were Roman Catholic missionaries who were going to establish a mission among the Flathead Indians near the headwaters of the Columbia River and who agreed to travel with the California party as far as Soda Springs on the Bear River. After six months of hardship, Mr. Belden and his three companions reached the foot of Mount Diablo, Cal., on November 4, 1841, two years before the arrival of General Fremont in that State. Making his way to Monterey, he there made arrangements with Thomas O. Larkin, who was afterward United States Counsel to California, to go to Santa Cruz and take charge of a branch store which was to be established there and from this time dates his successful mercantile career.

In 1842, when Captain Jones, of the American frigate United States took possession of California for the American Government, Mr. Belden was appointed Alcalde under United States authority, but when it was learned a few days later that Captain Jones had erred, and Monterey and Santa Cruz had to be restored to their former authorities, Mr. Belden had to haul down the American Flag, which he had with his own hands raised in California for the first time. In 1846 he went to San Francisco, then called "Little Landing Place," and also known as Yerba Buena. At that time it was a village of about twenty houses. His entry into the village was on Good Friday and Mr. Belden was promptly seized by the authorities and fined $20 for daring to ride a horse on that sacred day, in violation of the law. Early in 1848 he opened  a store in San Jose in partnership with Mellus and Howard of San Francisco, then the largest firm on the Pacific Coast, and in 1849 retired from all the active business, having acquired a fortune before the present California magnates had established themselves. He was the first Mayor of San Jose, being elected in 1850 and for many years he made that town his summer home. It was here that he made the great park in which his house stood and in which a few years ago was built the celebrated Vendome Hotel. During the War of the Rebellion he contributed largely to the Sanitary Fund, in which he took great interest.

At the time of his death Mr. Belden was a member of the Union League Club of this city and a director on the Erie Railroad. He owned a large amount of real estate in New York and San Francisco. Being fond of travel, he had made extended trips abroad, visiting on his last tour the Holy Land and ascending the river Nile. Mr. Belden was an unassuming man, thoroughly domestic in his tastes and preferring his home life to all other considerations. He detested and was quick to discover any shams or vulgar displays and bore a reputation for the highest integrity in all commercial relations. He leaves two sons, Charles A. Belden who lives in San Francisco, George F. Belden who lives in Cincinnati. Three married daughters also survive him. They are Mrs. Luis Emilio, Mrs. Lewis Morris Addings and Mrs. George Rutledge Gibson, all of whom live in this city.

The funeral will take place tomorrow morning at his home. The Rev. Dr. D.C. Eaton of the Church of the Divine Paternity will conduct the services. The burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery.~

1917 February 16, Evening News (San Jose, CA) "Josiah Belden during the days when mining was at its height kept a small store where the Spanish came to trade and brought their sacks of gold. They had confidence in him and often they gave him their sacks of gold and never asked to have them returned. Belden became very wealthy." - from a series of articles When San Jose Was Young, No. 109, San Jose in Early Fifties.



Rancho Bosquejo

Peter Lassen (in the day pronounced Law son) actually viewed and picked out the land he wished to be granted. The acreage was east of the Sacramento River extending north of Deer Creek as the other meandering stream.

California Statehood in 1850 put the 22,206.27 acres in Butte County and in 1856 when Tehama became a county, the acreage fell within the county lines making Rancho Bosquejo one of the several grants in Tehama County.

1843 March, John Bidwell, Peter Lassen and others came up the east side of the Sacramento River looking for a party en route to Oregon that might have his horse and mule that had been lost. In Bidwell's words:  "We were now on the trail of the Oregon company, which lay on the east side of the Sacramento River. The streams flowing into it, with the exception of Butte Creek, had not at that time been named, so I had the rare good fortune to name them. Seeing some Sabine pine in the stream where we camped, it was dubbed Pine Creek. The next stream we came to was beautiful and clear and flowed swiftly from the mountains with considerable force. On its banks appeared numerous deer, seemingly in droves, so we named it Deer Creek. . . ."~

1843 October 11 - Peter Lassen, born 31 October 1800, near Farum, Denmark, completed his application for the land grant and also applied for naturalization with the Mexican government.~

1844 July 25 - Mexican citizenship granted by Manuel Micheltorena:  "Pedro Lassen, a native of Denmark, having complied with the conditions and requirements prescribed by law for the granting of naturalization letters to foreigners, I have concluded hereby to naturalise the said Don Pedro Lassen by virtue of the powers conferred on me by said law."~

1844 December 26 - Mexican government approved Lassen's land grant request.~

1845 - "Sutter's need (for timber) sparked Peter Lassen's deal with William Brown Ide, newly arrived from the states with a circular saw and a set of mill-irons. Had they not come to sudden disagreement, the first sawmill in interior California would have been at Vina and the only president of the Bear Flag Republic would have been a lumberman." - W.H. Hutchinson in California Heritage A History of Northern California Lumbering

1845 October 29 - Peter Lassen, William C. Moon and Ezekiel Merritt arrived at Sutter's Fort with the grindstones they had manufactured on Stony Creek and boated down the Sacramento River selling what they could along the way to market.

1846 - Peter Lassen planted a small vineyard.

1846 May 9 - Lassen, as an escort to a man named Archibald Gillespie carrying letters of an urgent matter, and five other men arrived at Fremont's camp at Denny Creek, west shore of upper Klamath Lake. He was involved with fighting Indians with Fremont's troop and when he left to return to his rancho, he came a different route.

1847 February 27, California Star - New Helvetia, Feb. 13, 1847 - Mr. E.P. Jones "Dear Sir--An opportunity offering today to send to your town by Mr. Lassen on his way down in a canoe, I write to inform you of the latest news from the mountains..."

1847 June 30, "Lassen deeded the land north of Deer Creek, 5,000 acres, to Daniel Sill, his ranch overseer. . ." - Keith Lingenfelter (See Wagon Wheels 1978, No. 2, September 1978, page 12).

Daniel Sill, native of East Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut arrived in California in 1832. He was a trapper and a carpenter and came in the winter from New Mexico. He hunted otter in Santa Barbara. In 1844, he spent most of his time in the Sacramento Valley, working as a blacksmith for John Sutter part of the time.

He married Harriet Hungerford in 1818 and amongst his children were Daniel Sill, Jr. and a daughter, Harriet.

Harriet Sill married Dansforth Besse at Lassen's Rancho in 1850. On 8 September 1853, Mrs. Harriet Sill Besse married William Perry Mayhew in Yuba County as Danforth B. Besse was deceased.

Daniel Sill, Jr. married Miss Sarah R. Mayhew at the Luna House in Red Bluff in May 1857. Both bride and groom were listed as of Lassen Township in Tehama County.

1847 July 19 - Lassen in company with Commodore Robert F. Stockton and a party of over forty men left California for Missouri. Their arrival in St. Louis was noted in a newspaper dated 4 November 1847.

1848 October 27, Lassen's Ranch - The first wagon train to cross from Oregon Territory to California has successfully arrived in the Sacramento Valley. Party members, led by Peter H. Burnett, are resting today on the ranch of Peter Lassen before proceeding to the gold fields.~

1849 November 26, "Lassen mortgaged one-third of his property to Joel Palmer and John Wilson." - Keith Lingenfelter (See:  Wagon Wheels, Number 2, September 1978, page 12).

1851, Daniel Sill sold his portion of Rancho Bosquejo to his daughter Harriet Sill Besse for $1.00. - Keith Lingenfelter (See Wagon Wheels, Number 2, September 1978, page 12).

1851, LASSEN (LASSEN'S) - Post Office established 29 July 1851, according to Daily Alta California Newspaper. In Butte County and then in Tehama county with boundary change of 1864. 's dropped 15 April 1870 when post office re-established. Lassen then discontinued 26 August 1872 when the mail service moved to Vina. Named for Peter Lassen the site was also known as Deer Creek Station (without a post office) located 8 miles SE of Tehama. Charles W. Pomeroy was the first Postmaster.~

1852 April 21Daily Alta California, U.S. Land Commissioners - Claims filed since our last report:  By E. Norton and Jno Wilson:  No. 182, of Peter Lassen, to "Bosquejo," 5 leagues on the Sacramento River. 1844.~

1852, Peter Lassen failed to pay back $25,000 owed to Henry Gerke (1810 -1882) from an 1850 agreement, thus giving up 10,000 acres to Gerke. Gerke developed wheat fields and planted grape vines. Gerke lived on the property (now a part of the Abbey at Vina) and worked as a vintner from 1861 until his death 22 April 1882.~

1854 August 23, Sacramento Daily Union - Board of U. S. Land Commissioners - "Claim argued and submitted. -- No. 182, Peter Lassen for Bosquejo, 5 square leagues on the Sacramento river."

1855 February 28, Sacramento Daily Union, THE COURTS - SUPREME COURT. - Present- Hon. H.C. Murray, C.J.; S. Heydenfeldt and C J Bryan, Associates. Tuesday, Feb. 27. Wilson et al vs. Gerke & Lassen - Argument commenced and to be continued to-morrow.~

1855 July 24, Land Commission of San Francisco confirmed Lassen's Mexican Land Grant.~

1857 March 2, United States District Court confirmed Lassen's Mexican Land Grant.~

1857 August 14, Sacramento Daily Union - Gored by an Ox - On Friday, August 7th, Daniel Sill, sr., of Deer Creek, Tehama County was seriously gored by a Spanish bullock, which he was trying to capture. One horn of the animal passed up between the lower jaw and the roof of his mouth.~

1857 October 29, Daily Alta California - The Honey Lake Valley Indians - We are informed that Col. Henley yesterday appointed Isaac Roop, Peter Lassen and Jonathan Williams as agents to settle the difficulties at present existing between the whites and the Indians in Honey Lake Valley, authorizing them to negotiate a treaty of peace with the Indians. Mr. Lassen went up yesterday with a quantity of blankets and other articles to be distributed as presents to the Indians after a treaty is concluded. Mr. Lassen is of the opinion that he will be able to conclude the difficulties at present existing.~

1859 February 2, Red Bluff Beacon - PETER LASSEN - Hutching's Magazine for February 1859, contains a very good likeness of Peter Lassen and a short sketch of his life. Peter being an old resident of this county, and having many aquaitances herabouts, we have deemed it proper to state a few of the more prominent features of his truly eventful life.

Peter Lassen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, on the 7th of August 1800, where he learned the blacksmith's trade. In the year 1820 he emigrated to Boston, Mass., and from thence to Keytesville, Mo., where he remained nine years. In 1839 he crossed the Plains to Oregon, arrivng at the Dalles in October of that year, in 1840 he came to California.

In 1842 Governor Micheltoreno made him a grant of land known as the Lassen grant, (now Gerke's), on Deer Creek, in this county, where in 1843, he removed with a band of cattle that he had earned by blacksmithing for Captain Sutter. In 1847, Uncle Peter crossd the Plains to Missouri with Commodore Stockton, and again returned in 1848 bringing with him several familes, among whom was Wm. Myers, the pioneer of Red Bluff, and now a farmer in this neighborhood.

In the spring of 1850, Peter Lassen having disposed of one-half his ranch and stock to Palmer, took several teams of oxen, and went to Sacramento city to purchase provisions, and while there conceoved of the idea of selling his cattle, and buying a steamboat, which proved to him the most unfortunate speculation of his life. Mr. Palmer sold his interest in the concern to Gen. Wilson, and while Peter, with his purchase, (the little steamer Washington) was cordelling up the river with his Indians, other parties were taking away and selling his cattle. The steamboat project proved a failure -- his cattle were all gone -- the parties to whom he had sold half his ranch and stock had paid him nothing, and he had incurred a debt that nothing short of the sale of the balance of his ranch would pay. He accordingly sold to Henry Gerke, of San Francisco, his remaining interest in the place, together with his claim against Wilson, which enabled him to pay up his debts, and remove, with a few head of cattle, to Indian Valley, in Plumas Co., and afterwards to Honey Lake, where he still resides, making an occasional visit to Red Bluff for provisions, and to his old ranch, where he is allowed to help himself to whatever pleases his fancy.

Peter is now engaged in the erection of a mill at Honey Lake, where, if Providence spares his life for a few years,we have no doubt he will again accumulate a handsome property.

We have prolonged this sketch of the life of a man whose character as published in Hutching's has failed to inform the reader of several important events connected with his life, among which are his return to the States in 1847-48, his steamboat speculation, etc.~

1859 May 21, Sacramento Daily Union - Genoa, May 20th - Major Dodge, Indian Agent, returned to-day from Honey and Pyramid Lakes, whither he has been to investigate the matter of the reported Indian depredation. Major Dodge is not satisfied that the murder was entirely the work of the Indians, as in the house occupied by the murdered man were found two sacks of flour, some dried beef, and about half a keg of whisky, which articles would undoubtedly have been carried off by Indians. Peter Lassen and Edward Clapper were killed at first fire. Lemarcus Wyatt, who escaped at the time, is in Honey Lake Valley. The other party have also returned, together with the party of twenty who went out to bury the dead. The Major will use his utmost endeavors to discover the perpetrators of this dreadful murder.

Major Dodge met the venerable Piute Chief Wenamuca, together with about three thousand of his tribe, in council at Pyramid Lake.~

1859 June 8, Red Bluff Beacon, TRIBUTE OF RESPECT. - At a meeting of the F. and A.M. of Honey Lake Valley, held at Susanville, this 22 day of May A.L., 5859, the following preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted, viz: --

Whereas, it has pleased the Supreme Architect of the universe to suddenly remove from our midst, on the 29th day of April, A.D. 1859, our worthy and beloved brother, Peter Lassen. He obeyed the summons, and the door of destiny was opened unto him. We confidently believe that sudden as was his summons he was prepared to meet and take a seat in the presence of his Divine Grand Master, and be invested with the great mysteries of that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

Therefore, be it resolved, That in the death of Peter Lassen the community has suffered the loss of an enterprising citizen, a warm-hearted friend, true and faithful brother, one of the earliest and most ardent members of the Masonic Fraternity in the State of California.

Resolved, That we sincerely sympathize with the brethren of Western Star Lodge No. 2, at Shasta, California, of which he was a member.

Resolved, That a copy of the above be furnished unto Western Star Lodge No. 2, and the Shasta papers, Red Bluff Beacon and Tehama Gazette, for publication, with a request that other papers throughout the State will please copy. - Isaac Roop, Chairman; A.M. Vaughan, Secretary.~

1859 October 29, Sacramento Daily Union, SF Oct 28th - The United States Survey was orderd to be returned before the United States District Court today in the case of the claim of Peter Lassen to the place called "Bosquejo."~

1859 November 21, Sacramento Daily Union - A party from Honey Lake Valley were in search of the assassins of Peter Lassen and E. Clappers. Lassen will be buried, temporarily, with Masonic honors.~

1859 December 2, Sacramento Daily Union, More Land Cases - In the case of Peter Lassen claiming Bosquejo, an order was entered reviving the suit in the name of Gerke, Administrator.~

1861 January 21, Patent date for Rancho Bosquejo.~

1862 February 21, Sacramento Daily Union, Circuit Court - The patent has been received for the Bosquejo Ranch by Henry Gerke. It is five leagues on the Sacramento River, near Deer Creek.~

1871 April 4, Vina (Spanish Word for Vineyard) post office was established on land acquired by Henry Gerke from Peter Lassen's Bosquejo land grant. Samuel C. Dicus was the first postmaster.

1872 October 5, San Francisco Bulletin - The Sacramento Valley - Its Price and Products - Where Small Farms May Be Had - Redding, Shasta County, October 1st, Information fro Land Buyers - ". . .  The next large ranch is that of Henry Gerke, twenty miles above Chico. It now contains about 18,000 acres of which a large portion is suitable for wheat or corn growing and grazing purposes. One of the largest and finest vineyards in the State is on this ranch. Gerke's native wine is noted for purity and lightness and for its freedom from headiness and ground flavor. The most of Gerke's land is devoted to wheat raising; 1,800 tons of wheat were raised on it last year and about 2,200 tons this year. It is mostly tilled by tenants. The land is worth from $20. to $50. per acre. The owner would sell in small tracts or not. He has a standing offer of $675,000. for the land, vineyards and improvements..

General Wilson owns several thousand acres of the original Gerke grant. His land is altogether devoted to wheat growing and is worth $40. per acre. . ."

1874 June 19, San Francisco Bulletin - California Wines In London - There has recently been a notable exportation of California wines in London. Bell's Weekly Messenger, of May 23d, contains the following reference to it:  The California wines, to which we referred last week, are a remarkable production. We have heard much of the prolific and luscious character of ordinary fruits produced on the hill sides and in the valleys of the Western State, which is fanned by the warm air of the Pacific Ocean. But, till recently --indeed until this International Exhibition of Wines more particularly--we have had no indication of the capacity for wine-yielding grapes which belongs to the soil and climate of California.  Messrs H. Starr & Co., of 22 Morgan Street, have however, a stand upon which they show four kinds of wine that cannot fail to grow in favor with the British public. These are the production of one estate, and manufactured and bottled by the owner, so that nothing in the form of mixing or adulterating may take place to injure the character of this produce. The wines shown in the Albert Hall vaults are of the vintage 1868. Two of them are dry and two are sweet. No. 1 which is reckoned to be the first in quality, is named Gerke, after the owner of the estate from which it came. This Gerke is certainly a clean, delicate and fine-flavored wine. The other, Muscat, is made from the Muscat of Alexandria grape, and while its quality is fine, its flavor is peculiar, and many persons would not like it at first, but we doubt if there are but few who would not quickly acquire as great a taste for the musky aroma it yields as persons generally have for the same flavor from the grape after which it is named. The sweet wines are named Bosquejo and Angelica, the former after the vineyard. These wines are as rich and clean in the mouth as such luscious beverages can be. Their quality and flavor are superior, and we shall be surprised if we do not hear that they have become great favorites as dessert wines.

The estate on which these wines are grown is situated on the foot-hills in the county of Tehama. Henry Gerke, the proprietor, has taken every trouble to produce these wines, so that they may acquire an established reputation. So far as we may judge from the samples and cases which are shown at Kensington, we may confidently say that he has not only deserved success but achieved it. The grapes produced on this estate are expected, from experiments which have been made with them, to yield first-class qualities of sparkling wine, and but little, if anything, inferior to the champagnes and hocks of France. As we import double as much "champagne" and "hock" into the country as the vineyards of Europe produce we shall be glad to welcome a supply from Californian grapes, for to know that it is made from grape-juice is better than to feel assured that much that is offered must be nothing more nor less than productions from the juices of rhubarb and beet-root.~

1874 July 14, San Francisco Bulletin- The wheat yield of the Gerke estate, on the borders of Tehama and Butte counties, has been immense this year. Nearly every acre cultivated has brought forth abundantly, and will afford to both owner and tenants ample remuneration for labor and capital invested. More than 9,000 acres have been under cultivation this season. The orchards and vineyards have far outstripped the supply of many years back and the manufacture of the justly celebrated Gerke wine will be very large.~

1875 August 13, Weekly Journal Miner (Prescott, Arizona) - An Empire for Sale - We have received the maps and schedule of the division of the old Peter Lassen grant in Tehama County, Cal., which now belongs to Henry Gerke, and is advertised for sale at auction, in lots of from 40 to 160 acres, commencing on the 8th of September. This little empire is 13 miles long and three wide in the very heart of the Sacramento Valley embracing the celebrated Gerke vineyards and farms. Gerke has 11,000 acres in wheat this year on the place.~

1876 August 31, Tocsin - GERKE RANCH - We learn from Wheatland Free Press that there were thrashed last week 4,133 bushels of barley with a steam thrasher on the Gerke grant, near Cana. Grain is good there. This is the garden of California. Thrashing will last about thirty days yet.~

1878 February 14, Tocsin - Married - At Tehama, January 30, 1878 by A.J. Clark, J. P., Daniel Sill, of Vina to Mrs. Elizabeth Orr of San Francisco.

1879 July 24, Arizona Weekly Star (Tucson, AZ) Chico Record -Saturday night a party of men went to Vina looking for work. Not being able to procure any, they became violent, and finally threatened to burn the country up. The same night the grain on the Gerke grant was fired in five different places, and but for the promptitude of parties who were on the watch, a total destruction of the grain in the neighborhood would have taken place. The Sheriff of Tehama County was notified and a vigorous search made for the parties who made the threats, but so far without avail. James Sweeney was the heaviest loser, having about twelve acres of grain destroyed.~

1880 October 30, Pacific Rural Press, Tehama County - No. 3 - "Lassen township is the smallest of the seven, and is south of Tehama township. It is nearly all under cultivation and has some magnificent farming land in it. J. S. Copeland, Thomas Washington, Press Moore, and H. Gerke have fine farms. The Bosquejo ranch is in itself a marvel of fertility. H. Gerke, the owner, has rented it out to several tenants. The fine vineyard where the Gerke wine is manufactured is on the Bosquejo ranch, and pays its owner better than the raising of wheat. There are some waste portions of hilly land in this township, but they are not of a great extent."

1881 - Leland Stanford purchased Gerke acreage and started the "Stanford's Great Vina Ranch".~

1882 January 25, San Francisco Bulletin- It is reported that Governor Stanford intends to spend $300,000 in improvements on the Gerke Ranch, Tehama County, this season. About 300 men are now employed in and about the vineyard.~

1916 April 23, Sacramento Union, FRASER SELLS HOP RANCH - Oroville, Butte County, April 22nd - Formal transfer of approximately 1,000 acres of what is known to the public as the Fraser Hop Ranch at Nord, but recorded as a portion of the Bosquejo Rancho, has been made by Harry Fraser to Henry Haile and D.I. Waltz. The deal has just been filed with the county recorder. The deal was made several years ago.~

1923 May 11, Evening Tribune (San Diego, CA) - Redding, Cal. May 11 - Seventy five years ago yesterday - May 10, 1848, Peter Lassen instituted the first Masonic lodge in the state at Benton City. He brought the charter with him from Missouri. That lodge, the Western Star, still is functioning in the old town of Shasta. Only a month ago the site of Benton City, a city of the past, was located positively on Deer Creek five miles south of Los Molinos, 19 miles north of Chico on the state highway. At that historic spot the Western Star members yesterday dedicated a monument commemorative of the event and of Peter Lassen.~


Rancho Capay

Maria Josefa Soto de Stokes

First Husband:

"Cano (Gil.), com. de policia at Mont. '36. iii. 675; Mex., age 23, wife Josefa Soto, children Rafael, Maria, Luisa, Nicolas." page 81, California Pioneer Register 1542-1848, BANCROFT~

Second Husband:

"Stokes, James, 1834(?), English sailor who in California became a doctor; first appearing on the records  of '35 when he served as consulting physician in the case of Gov. Figueroa, but probably left some vessel a year or two earlier. iii. 412, 296. He is occasionaly named as doctor, druggist, and trader at Monterey in '35-43. iv. 117, 342; married Maria Josefa Soto in '44; appears at Monterey, S.F., New Helvitia, and San Jose in records of '45. being in com. of a detachment of the Monterey Guard. iv. 515, but appears to have considered S. Jose his home from this year. In '46 Dr. Stokes is vaguely accredited in tradition with having intriqued for an English protectorate, but was the first to raise the U.S. flag at San Jose, where by Sloat's appointment he served for a time as alcalde after the change of flag, owning also a lot in S.F. and having a Cal. claim v. 34, 68, 245-6, 294, 662. He became the owner of the Verjeles and Natividad ranchos, Monterey county, for which he was later claimant. iii. 679; iv 656; and in '48 a trading tour to the mines. I find no record of him or his family after '52." page 344, California Pioneer Register 1542-1848, BANCROFT.~

1859 September 2, Evening Star (Washington D.C.) - PRIVATE LAND CLAIMS IN CALIFORNIA - Patents have been prepared at the General Land Office with a view to transmission by the next mail to the Surveyor General of California, for delivery to the following private land claims in said State. The Capay Rancho in favor of Josefa Soto, containing 41,300 acres . . .~

1862 August 17, Daily Alta California -MARRIED - At the Rancho de Los Vergeles, Monterey County, the residence of Dr. James Stokes, on the 12th of August, by J.W. Whitney, Esq., Frederick Sherwood to Catherine Stokes, and George H. Winterburn to Josephine Stokes.~

1867 August 1 (Sacramento Great Register 1872 Supplement):  Winterburn, George Howard, 27, England, Printer, Residence, Sacramento, Naturalized 1 August 1867 Sacramento County California District Court.~

1905 December 18, Evening News (San Jose, California) - BIG TRACT SOLD - A return of sale of a portion of the Capay Rancho in Glenn County has been filed in the Probate Court in the Estate of Henry Van Sycle. The purchaser was B. Cussick of Chico and the price paid was $47,572. The tract contained 792 acres. H.E. Wilcox and D.M. Burnett are the attorneys.~


Rancho de Colus

1844 October - John Bidwell became a naturalized citizen of Mexico.

1845 October 2 - Mexican Land Grant of 8,876.02 acres in Colusa County along the west side of the Sacramento River and included today's town of Colusa granted to John Bidwell by Pio Pico. Bidwell never settled on the Colus grant and later sold it for $2,000. to Charles D. Semple, a brother of Dr. Robert Semple.~

1869 January 23 - Patent of  8,876.02 acreage granted  to Semple.~


Rancho de las Flores

Flores - Spanish word for flowers.

1832 - William Chard came to California from New Mexico in a trapping party that included Cyrus Alexander, Samuel Carpenter and others.~

1837 - William George Chard of Columbia County, New York, became a naturalized citizen in California for Mexico. At times he was called "Guillermo" Spanish word for William.~

1844 December 22- William George "Guillermo" Chard received the grant land of 13,315 acres from Manuel Micheltorena located in what became Tehama County (1856) south of the Belden (Ide) grant of Barranca Colorada and along the west side of the Sacramento River. Today's communities of Gerber and Proberta are on Rancho de las Flores grant land.~

1857 August 1, Sacramento Daily Union - Red Bluff Beacon has information that the residence of Mr. William Chard, about three miles from Tehama, was destroyed by fire on the 24th July. The fire broke out at about 12 o'clock at night, and the flames progressed so rapidly that Mrs. Chard who was sleeping in the house at the time, would have been burned had it not been for the timely and gallant exertions of the vaqueros, who cut a hole in the corner of the house and rescued her from the crackling element that surrounded her, and which rendered her perfectly helpless. The house was not of much value, but contained many valuable papers, some of which Mr. Chard had been in possession of as far back as twenty-four years, when first he became a resident of California. The house can be rebuilt, but the carefully preserved relics of early gathering cannot be restored, only in so far as memory may perchance render assistance.~

1859 June 9, San Francisco Bulletin - Letter from Los Angeles - Arrival of an Old Resident of Los Angeles - Among the passengers from the East, last Wednesday, was William G. Chard, of Tehama, now just from New Orleans and San Antonio, whither he has been on a visit. Mr. Chard was a resident of Los Angeles twenty-odd years ago - having come over in 1832. Of the party that came with him then, there only remain Mr. Alexander of Russian River, and Mr. Carpenter and Mr. Paulding of this county. The old poblanos, who used to know Mr. Chard in those old times, were glad to see him again after so long an interval and after so many changes. Mr. Chard has been one of the successful old settlers in his business relations. He has a valuable ranch, a store and a newspaper in Tehama. He went East by water and came back overland. He prefers the latter route. From San Antonio to El Paso, he came by the extreme southern route, from thence, by Butterfield route. He was allowed to take his time; he stopped several days at El Paso and Los Angeles.~

1859 September 19- Patent date for the Rancho de las Flores Mexican Land Grant in the name of William George Chard.~

1859 December 13, San Francisco Bulletin - Marriages - In Tehama County, December 4, E. J. Lewis to Anita Chard.~

1872 October 5, San Francisco Bulletin, The Sacramento Valley, Land There - Its Price and Products-Where Small Farms May Be had - Redding, Shasta County, October 1st, Information for Land Buyers - ". . . The next grant, on the north is that of William G. Chard. It is nearly all cut up and owned in small farms. Colonel E. J. Lewis, a well-known politician, is one of the largest owners on the Chard tract. He is extensively engaged in wheat raising. . ."

1877 September 20, Sacramento Daily Union, W. Chard, one of the largest land proprietors of Tehama County was found dead on the ranch of his daughter, Mrs. Senator E. J. Lewis, Wednesday evening.~

1892 December 28, Red Bluff Daily News - Death of Stephen Chard - 

1919 August 29, Red Bluff Daily News - Mrs. Anita Lewis Passes Away At Age Seventy-Eight - Mrs. Anita Lewis, one of Tehama county's oldest residents died at her home in Proberta last evening of heart failure. She was taken ill and before a doctor arrived from Red Bluff, had passed away. The funeral arrangements have not yet been completed.

Mrs. Lewis was born Christmas day 1840 in Santa Clara, California. Her father was William Chard and her mother was Marie Robles, a Spanish woman. In the spring of 1842 the Chards in company with Colonel Bidwell and Captain Thomes came north and settled in Tehama county.

Chard took up a large tract of about 15,00 acres of land under a Spanish grant, which reached from what is now known as Elder Creek to some distance north of Proberta and east to the Sacramento river.

In the early sixties Anita Chard married E.J. Lewis who assisted his father-in-law on the ranch for several years and who later studied law. Lewis was for many years one of the leading lawyers of Northern California and was considered one of the most eloquent speakers in the entire state. During the seventies her represented Tehama County in the state senate. In 1879 he was elected as the first superior judge of Tehama county under the new constitution. Lewis died of tuberculosis in the spring of 1881 after which his wife and five surviving children took up their residence at Proberta. One of Mrs. Lewis' sons, William, served as district attorney of Tehama county for one term. Mrs. Lewis is survived by four children, Nettie L., Worth P., Josephine, and Leland S. Lewis.~


Rancho de los Saucos

Saucos means elder trees.

1817 June 16, Robert Hasty Thomes born in Maine.

1841 - Thomes came into California with the Bartleson-Bidwell Party.

1841-1842 - worked as carpenter in San Francisco.

1843 - Partnered in carpentry and building with Albert G. Toomes.

1844 - Became naturalized Mexican citizen while in Monterey.

1844 December 20, 22, 212.21 acres, 5 square leagues in what became Tehama County, granted to Roberto Hasty Thomas by Governor Manuel Micheltorena. The grant was located on the west side of the Sacramento River with Elder Creek and Thomes Creek being the other main watercourses. Today's City of Tehama is located on Saucos land grant soil.

1845, Thomes worked in Monterey as a carpenter and along with friend Albert Toomes built the house for Governor Jimeno.

1857 October 14, Patent date for Rancho de los Saucos in the name of Thomas (Thomes).

1857 December 11, Sacramento Daily Union - THOMES' PATENT OF LAND IN TEHAMA COUNTY - We announced some time since in the Union, that R. H. Thomes, of Tehama county, had received by the last steamer the patent for his claim to the Sanchos [sp] Rancho. The Beacon gives the following description of the claim and makes some comments, which we copy:

This rancho lies in Tehama township, and includes the town of Tehama. It contains about 22,000 acres of the best land in the Sacramento valley, and is today well worth $100,000. Besides this land, on which are a number of very good houses and other valuable improvements, Thomes is owner of about 2,000 head of horned cattle and 200 horses, all of his own raising. Thomes, Dye, Toomes and Chard came and settled upon their ranches as early as 1845, having had them granted to them by the Mexican Government in 1844. These are no fraudulent or hatched up grants, manufactured for the occasion by the San Francisco lawyers, as it is believed has been the case in some instances, but the owners were occupants, and bona fide settlers upon the lands, and had become legally and rightfully possessed of the same at the time when they were not envied their possessions. Persons desiring land, who have not the means to pay down, are offered every inducement to purchase. Almost any time that is required is freely given to make the payments, without interest, and at rates but little above the Government price.~

1858 - Thomes' adobe house, built in 1846-47, burned.

1872 October 5, San Francisco Bulletin, The Sacramento Valley, Land There - Its Price and Products - Where Small Farms May Be Had - Redding, Shasta County, October 1st - Information for Land Buyers - ". . . At Tehama, on the west side of the Sacramento River, is Thomes' grant. It contains about 20,000 acres, one third of which is of the very best quality of wheat land; the remainder good grazing. It is understood that this land can be bought, either as a whole or in small farms. The best of it is worth about $45 an acre; the body of it about $20. . . ."~

1874 July 4, Red Bluff Independent - DIED - On Elder Creek, Tehama county, June 28th, 1874, Spanish Charley, for twenty years vaquero for R.H. Thomes.~

1875 October 9, Sacramento Daily Union - from the Tocsin of October 7 On Saturday last John Simpson, of Tehama, while on his way out to the new brick residence of R. H. Thomes, on Elder Creek, ran across a live tarantula, which he killed with a stick. Thomes and others pronounced it one of the genuine kind. Simpson killed one about sixteen years ago near the residence of W. G. Chard, on Elder Creek. These insects are scarce in this part of the county.~

1877 September 28, Weekly Journal Miner (Prescott, AZ) Dr. J. M. Betts, well-known to nearly all our readers, who formerly lived in Idaho, was at last accounts lying at the point of death at Thomes Ranch, near Tehama, Cal., where he had gone from San Francisco to visit the proprietor, R. H. Thomes, an old friend of the doctor, who is suffering with an abscess in his side."~

1878 April 5, Weekly Journal Miner (Prescott, AZ) - Robert H. Thomes, a California pioneer of 1841, aged 58 years, died at his residence near Tehama, Cal., March 26, of an abscess in the side. He was owner of 22,000 acres of land on which the town of Tehama is built and was the wealthiest man in Tehama County at the time of his death. He was unmarried and leaves two maiden sisters who have kept house for him for years, and who will probably inherit his vast estate. R. H. Thomes, like his former partner, A.G. Toomes, was one of the most scrupulously honest men that ever lived and no one asking alms of him went away empty.~


Rancho del Arroyo Chico

Rancho del Arroyo Chico was one of the land grant cases where the original grantee was not the final patentee. This grant included rich farming ground, today's Bidwell Park and eventually the town of Chico founded by John Bidwell.

1844 November - A 22,214.47 acre Mexican Land Grant in Butte County granted by Governor Manuel Micheltorena to William "Guillermo" Dickey.

1845 April - John Bidwell obtained a part interest in Edward "Eduardo" Farwell's New Salem or Rancho de Farwell Mexican land grant containing 22,194 acres in Butte county southwest of today's Chico, along the south bank of Chico Creek and east of the Sacramento River.

1847 - Bidwell resided in a small cabin he had built along Little Butte Creek which transected the Farwell grant. He moved cattle onto this property.

1848 May 6 - Bidwell registered his livestock brand.

1849 July - Bidwell used his good fortune from mining the last two seasons to purchase one half interest in Rancho del Arroyo Chico.

1851 - Bidwell purchased the remaining half and become sole owner of the Rancho del Arroyo Chico.

1852 - Bidwell moved onto the Rancho del Arroyo Chico into a large two-story adobe home he planned for his permanent residence for the time. He dealt with "squatters" and began developing his land. With the accumulation of a portion of the Farwell grant and the entire Rancho del Arroya Chico, Bidwell had 33,000 contiguous acres in northwestern Butte County.

1852 May - Bidwell secured a quitclaim from William Dickey, his former mining partner.

1855 July 17 - Daily Placer Times and Transcript (San Francisco, California) - LAW INTELLIGENCE - U.S. District Court - Land Cases - July 16 - Claims Confirmed - The following claims were confirmed in the opinion of the learned Bench:   No. 38; Commission No. 143 - John Bidwell for a tract described by national boundaries, in Butte County. Opinion by McAllister.~

1860 April 4, Patent date for Mexican Land Grant of 22,214.47 acres granted to John Bidwell in Butte County, California with Chico Creek and Sacramento River as the watercourses.


Rancho El Primo Canon or Rio de los Berrendos

Also listed as El Primer Canon, the first canyon, or Antelope Ranch.

1807 January 17, Job Francis Dye born to James M. Dye & Elizabeth Percival Dye in Hardin County, Kentucky.

1832-33 - Job F. Dye, trapper, came into California with the Ewing Young party through New Mexico. For a year or more Dye engaged in otter-hunting on the coast, and late in 1833 took charge of Captain Cooper's livestock at the Rancho del-Sur; from this date his name appears on Larkin's books; and he still made occasional otter-hunting trips. - Bancroft~

1835-40 - Job Dye established a distillery at Sayante near Santa Cruz, at first with Tomlinson, later with Majors, whom he bought out in 1840, having applied for naturalization in 1839. Met by Edwards in 1837, arrested but not exiled in 1840, being accused by Morris of taking part against the foreigners - Bancroft~

1839 - Job F. Dye married Ecolastica Rodriquez in Monterey, California. Four children born to this union.~

1841 - Isabell Dye born.~

1843 - In John Bidwell's words:

". . .Further on [after Deer Creek and Mill Creek] the next stream of water presented to our view not only its well-timbered borders but expanses of fertile and grassy plains, over which roamed innumerable herds of Antelope, and hence it was named for that magnificent creature [Antelope Creek.]" - John Bidwell, 1843

1844 May 27 - Job Francis "Francisco" Dye received the land that took in six leagues (26, 172 acres) from the east side of the Sacramento River up into the foothills from Hogsback south to Dye Creek. Antelope Creek was the main stream within the acreage granted by Governor Manuel Micheltorena.

1845 - James A. Dye born.~

1848 - Rebecca Dye born.~

1852 - Martha Dye born.~

1853 June 4, Shasta Courier, Shasta, California - NOTICE TO SQUATTERS - The Grant to the Undersigned, of six square leagues of land, commencing at the mouth of Antelope Creek, on the east side of the Sacramento, running up said river three leagues, thence running from the river in an easterly direction two leagues, having been confirmed by the U.S. Land Commissioners, all persons found trespassing on the same are hereby notified that they will be proceeded against according to law.  J.F. DYE. Antelope Ranch, March 10, 1853.~

1853 December 10, Job Francis Dye and Sarah A. Herrall married in Allen County, Kentucky. Four Children born to this union.~

1855 - Stanley Newton Dye born in Tehama County, California.~

1857 July 22, Red Bluff Beacon - Birth - On the 15 inst., the wife of Job F. Dye, Esq. of a son. [Charles H. Dye]~

1858 December 29, Red Bluff Beacon - DYE'S GRANT - Among the plats recently sent to the General Land Office by the Surveyor General of California, we observe that of the rancho El Primo Canon, or the Rio de los Berrendos, fianlly confirmed to Job F. Dye, situated in Township 26 and 27 north of range 2, west, and Township 27 north of range 3 west, and bounded by the Sacramento River, containing 26,571 acres. This grant, our county readers will recognize, as the well-known Antelope rancho, east of the Sacramento River, opposite this town. The issuance of the patent, which must necessarily soon follow this announcement, will be received with general favor, as it will enable Mr. Dye to give titles to such portions as he designs disposing of to settlers.~

1859 - Mary Dye born.~

1859 January 15, Isabell Dye married John Strange Butler in Tehama County, California.~

1860 - Amanda Dye born.~

1862 March 6, Sarah A. Herrall Dye, 35, died in Red Bluff, Tehama County, California.~

1862 July 6, Amanda Dye, 2, died in Tehama County, California.~

1871 February 28- Patent date for 26,637.11 acres in Tehama County, California granted to Job Francis Dye.~

1872 October 5, San Francisco Bulletin - The Sacramento Valley - ( Information for Land-Buyers Article) Re: "The Dye Grant lies east of and opposite to Red Bluff. It was originally a large grant, but has been partially subdivided. It contains some good bottom land, but iis mostly adapted to grazing."~

1878, Charles H. Dye, 21, died in Tehama County, California.~

1883 March 5, San Francisco Bulletin - Mortuary Notice - DEATH OF J. F. DYE - A Pioneer of 1832 and Probably the Oldest in the State - Editor Bulletin: Job Francis Dye was born in Hardin county, Ky. in the year 1803 and died near Corralitas, Santa Cruz county in this State, March 4, 1883, being about seventy-eight years of age.

Mr. Dye left his native state in 1830 probably without any particular destination or object in view further than the pursuit that wild adventure for which all the first settlers of this coast were noted. After experiencing the privations, hardships, and untold dangers of a two-years' experience in the Rocky Mountains and on the Plains as a trapper, hunter, and scout, he made his way to the shores of the Pacific, arriving at Los Angeles in 1832, a date beyond which there are very few, if any, now living who can fix the time of their arrival.

His first business enterprise after leaving off his nomadic life was that of merchandising at the town of Santa Cruz. He subsequently moved to Monterey, where he continued his business and added to it those of milling and a distillery. He was very successful in these pursuits until about 1845, when the difficulty between the United States and Mexico led to the confiscation of his entire estate by the Mexican authorities, being taken himself a prisoner. 

Having a great many influential friends among the natives, he succeeded in getting released, but most of the other Americans then in the country were sent to Mexico in irons. He held a large claim against the Government for this outrage, but it was never prosecuted to the result it might have reached in other hands. Having been bankrupted in this manner he turned his attention to stock ranching and in 1845, in company with A.G. Toomes, R.H. Thomes and S. G. Chard, was the first to locate in the upper Sacramento Valley, in what is now Tehama county. Mr. Dye obtaining a grant of 29,000 acres of as choice land as can be found in the State, known as the Antelope Ranch, as present owned by ex-railroad Commissioner Cone.

Without any apparent fault or lack of judgment on his part, any more than to fate itself, all this vast possession had passed to other hands, and left him, as been too often the case with men of his stamp, nothing but the husks of the corn he had gathered.

He was a man of the highest integrity in all his dealings, and in maintaining his honor was no doubt satisfied with his comparative poverty. He is the last one of the pioneers who first settled in the Upper Sacramento, all the others having died within the last few years. He leaves four children, Mrs. J.S. Butler of Oakland, Mrs. C.M. Hays of Silver City, Idaho, James and Newton Dye of Santa Cruz county. His remains will be taken to Red Bluff for burial. Mr. Dye was highly respected. and his death will be greatly deplored by his many acquaintances and friends. -  H. A. L.~

1888 September 15, Owyhee Avalanche (Silver City, Idaho) -MARRIED - At the residence of General John Shepherd of George's Creek, near Independence, Inyo County, by Rev. C. Mulholland, Aug. 15th, 1888, Thomas F. Butler of Tehama county and Miss Luella Shepherd, daughter of Gen. John Shepherd. Mr. Butler is a native son of Tehama county, having been born on Antelope Ranch when it was the property of his grandfather, Job F. Dye. "Frank" as he is familiarly known in Red Bluff, is the oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. John S. Butler of this county.

His bride is a beautiful and accomplished young lady, possessing in an eminent degree, all the graces and accomplishments necessary to make married life happy and a pleasant and contented home for herself and husband and visiting friends.

At the close of the honeymoon, a part of which will be in San Francisco, and Oakland, Frank and his young bride will return to Tehama County and reside permanently at parental home near Vina. Mr. and Mrs. Butler have the well-wishes of the Sentinel for long life, prosperity and happiness. - Red Bluff Sentinel.

The young man above named resided in Silver City in 1867-8, and was known as a small boy. He is the nephew of Mrs. C.M. Hays of Silver City, and is known here to all the old residents, who wish him and his a long and happy life and prosperity.~

1919 October 16, Stanley Newton Dye, 64, died in California.~


Rancho Jimeno

1844 November 4 - Eleven square leagues (48,854 acres) granted to Manuel Jimeno Casarin by Governor Manuel Micheltorena in Colusa county bordered on the south by the outlet of Sycamore Slough near Knights's Landing extended north along the west side of Sacramento River to the Larkin Children's grant.~

1847 August 30 - Jimeno sold the grant to Thomas Oliver Larkin and John S. Missroon for $2,000.~

1862 July 18 - Colusa County, 48,854.26 acres; Patentees:  Larkin and Missroon; Patent Date:  18 July 1862; Meandering Watercourses:  Sacramento River and Sycamore Slough.~

Later it was discovered the Jimeno (sold to Larkin & Missroon) and Colus (sold to Semple by Bidwell) grants overlapped their boundaries causing problems for Charles D. Semple and the Larkin & Missroon partnership.~


Rancho Rio de los Molinos

Molino - the Spanish word for mill. Mill Creek - named by John Bidwell in 1843, recognizing the potential for the stream to support the operations of mill(s).

1841 November 10 - Albert G. Toomes, a native of Missouri, came into California with the Rowland-Workman party.

1842 - 1851 - Albert G. Toomes resided in Monterey. He and Robert H. Thomes worked as carpenters and built the house for Manuel Jimeno Casarin. In his words:  "The house we built at Monterey for Governor Jimeno in 1845 was one of the best jobs we ever did in our lives, for the old gentleman not only paid us well, but got us our farms without any of the trouble others had."

1843 -After Deer Creek, "The next flowing stream, ten or twelve miles, having a greater fall where we crossed it, suggested its value as a water-power, and hence received the appellation of Mill Creek." - John Bidwell, 1843.~

1844 December 20 - 22,177 acres granted to Albert Gallatin Toomes by Manuel Micheltorena between Dye Creek and Toomes Creek with Mill Creek in about the center, on the east side of the Sacramento River.~

1845 - Albert Toomes visited his land grant to stock it with cattle.

1846 - Toomes erected an adobe dwelling near where the settlement of Los Molinos took place.

1847 - Toomes brought in more cattle to his acreage.

1858 December 3, Evening Star (Washington, D.C.) - A patent for the rancho of the Rio de los Molinos, containing 22,172 acres, and finally confirmed to A. G. Toomes will be forwarded to California by the mail to go in the steamer tomorrow from New York.~

1873 April 3, San Diego Union- Mr. Toomes, of Tehama, purchased a flock of Cashmere goats last autumn. The band originally numbered 135 and the increase now swells it to over 200, and a further increase of thirty or forty is expected during the next ten days. Many of the ewes have two kids, a few three, and one gave birth to four, all of which are alive and doing well.~

1877 January 19, Weekly Journal Miner (Prescott, Arizona) - Mrs. A.G. Toomes, for many years a resident of Tehama, Cal., but of late living in Oakland, died on the 4th inst., in the latter city of typhoid fever. Mrs. Toomes was, we believe, a native of California, and was married to her late husband, Albert G. Toomes, at Monterey, about the year 1843, and in 1846 removed with her husband to their grant, which Mr. T. had procured from the Mexican Government situated on the East side of the Sacramento river opposite the town of Tehama, when the Sacramento Valley was almost an unbroken wilderness. Mr. and Mrs.Toomes, after the settlement of the country, became noted for their hospitality to strangers, and were especially respected and beloved by their poorer neighbors, who were the constant recepients of kind favors at their hands.~

1877 February 2, Weekly Journal Miner ( Prescott, Arizona) - The Will of Mrs. Toomes - Last week we mentioned the death of Mrs. Mary Isabella Toomes, of Oakland, California, an old friend and neighbor of our predecessor, T.J. Butler. We now find the following account of her will published in the Oakland Transcript of Jan. 21 which will interest those acquainted with Mrs. Toomes in her lifetime or with Mr. and Mrs. Butler who are brother and sister-in-law to the former editor and proprietor of this paper, and father and mother of Master Frank Butler, now an employee of this office.

The last will and testament of Mary Isabella Toomes, has been filed in the office of the Clerk of the Probate Court. (to be cont)

1885 February 22, San Francisco Bulletin, Ten years ago A. G. Toomes of Tehama died, bequeathing $35,000 in property to establish a Catholic Church and Institute in that county. Now a dispute has arisen as to the expenditure of the money, with a fair prospect of a diversion of $30,000 of the legacy to other purposes.~



Rancho San Buenaventura

1844 December 22-San Buenaventura -26,632 acres located in Shasta County the most northern Mexican Land Grant established in California granted to Pierson B. Reading by Manuel Micheltorena. The grant was located along the west bank of the Sacramento River from Cottonwood Creek on the south to Salt Creek above Redding on the north..~

1849 October 13, Gloucester Telegraph (Gloucester, Maine) - Major P. B. Reading, whose name is identified with the earliest Anglo Saxon explorations of California, has recently returned from a trip into the interesting region of Trinity River. He started from the Sacramento [river] about the middle of June, traveled up Clear Creek, and crossed the ridge dividing the waters of the Sacramento from the streams flowing into the ocean, by the only practicable route. His camp on this ridge was one night above the snow line. Trinity River was found to possess auriferous sands, and as the party followed up the stream, the ore was found in great abundance. They averaged for the few days remaining there about $10. each, per day.~

1851 December, George McKinstry, Jr. letter to Edward Kern in Philadelphia:  " . . .Pierson B. Reading in on his farm raising wheat and pumpkins in abundance--I camped on his rancho some six weeks last summer. He was the Whig candidate for Governor but could not make it. It was said his friendship with Captain Sutter cost him the Squatter votes. He has been wounded twice in Bear-Hunts since you left--shot in the hand two years ago and broke his leg badly two months ago. Next time it will be his head if he doesn't quit. He plans to go to Philadelphia on the 1st of April next and marry; about time, I think--squaws and niggers won't do. Old Snyder and Sam Hensley both married. Bidwell too damn prosperous to speak of. . . "

1852 March 27, Samuel J. Hensley Testimony in United States Land Office:  "In February 1844, I was on the head of the Sacramento River rafting logs down the river. I saw this place and recommended it to Mr. Reading. He asked me to give him such boundaries as I would take for myself if I wished to obtain it. I did so, and gave him the boundaries commencing at the mouth of Mud Creek, thence down the Sacramento River to the mouth of Cottonwood Creek, following the east bluff of said creek one league, thence northerly to Mud Creek, thence down Mud Creek to the point of beginning."

"Major Reading took possession in 1844. I spent 10 days with him on the place, looking out a suitable location for fields and buildings. He decided on a place and left a Frenchman by the name of Julian in charge to build a house and keep possession."

"He placed horses on the place and afterward a quantity of cattle. The Frenchman built a house and corral. It was afterwards burned down by the Indians. Julian was later killed by the Indians."

"In 1847, after the Mexican War, Major Reading went to the ranch with horses and cattle, built a house and put some 40 acres under cultivation with fruit trees and grape vines growing."

1854 April 28, Shasta Courier (Shasta City, CA) - A steamboat has made a trip up to Major Reading's Ranch, just south of Clear Creek and they claim that with the removal of a few rocks in the canyon, it will be passable to make regular trips this far.~

1854 August 22, Daily Placer Times and Transcript (San Francisco, California) -SHASTA PEACHES - The Shasta Courier says, of some peaches presented by Major Reading, "they are the product of trees three years old, and in respect both to appearance and flavor, are certainly equal to any specimens of this fruit that we have ever seen."~

1855 June 28, California Farmer & Journal of Useful Science (Sacramento, California) - Casuality - We regret to learn, says the Shasta Courier, that Major P.B. Reading was thrown from his horse a few days since and badly hurt one of his ribs having been broken by the fall. We are happy to state, however, that although his hurt is exceedingly severe, yet it is not at all dangerous.~

1855 October, Major Reading made visit to Washington D.C. on business regarding the title to the land. While there he met Fannie Washington.~

1856 January 11, United States Supreme Court approved P. B. Reading's title to Mexican Land Grant - Rancho san Buenaventura.~

1856 February 8, California Farmer and Journal of Useful Sciences (Sacramento, California) - The Supreme Court of the United States has confirmed the title of Major P.B. Reading to his immense ranch, on the Upper Sacramento.~

1856 March 13, Pierson B. Reading and Fannie Washington became husband and wife.~

1856 May 10, Shasta Republican (Shasta City, CA) Major Reading and his bride have arrived at his home in Shasta County.~

1857 January 17, Patent Date to  P. B. Reading for Rancho San Buenaventura. Main watercourses:  Sacramento River and Cottonwood Creek.~

1857 June 18, San Francisco Bulletin - BIRTH - At Buenaventura, Shasta Co., June 1st, the wife of Major P.B. Reading, of a daughter.~

1860 September 28, California Farmer and Journal of Useful Sciences (San Francisco, California) - Major P. B. Reading informs the Shasta Courier that he has finished thrashing his grain. His wheat yielded forty-five bushels to the acre, and his barley seventy bushels to the acre - the barley weighing fifty-five pounds to the bushel. These crops were produced on land which has been under cultivation for the past thirteen years - Sacramento River bottom-land.~

1861 August 14, San Francisco Bulletin - BIRTH - At Buena Ventura ranch, Shasta County, August 5th, the wife of Major P.B. Reading, of a son.~

1868 May 29, San Francisco Bulletin - Death of P.B. Reading - We learn that Major P.B. Reading, one of the oldest and best known American citizens of California, died at his residence in Shasta county this morning at 3 o'clock.

Major Reading had been a resident of California nearly a quarter of a century, and has been identified with the settlement and cultivation of the upper Sacramento country, where he has owned and improved one of the finest ranches in the State. He came here first as a hunter and trapper, and in that capacity left Sutter's Fort, the present site of Sacramento in the spring of 1845, with thirty men, to trap for otter and beaver along the streams of the district now known as Trinity county. This party was probably the first band of white men who ever explored that rugged region. The principal stream they encountered was given the name of Trinity, which it has ever since borne, in the belief that it emptied into Trinidad Bay as laid down in the Old Spanish charts. Beaver and Otter were quite plentiful on the Trinity streams and along the headwaters of the Sacramento as late as 1850, and some of the old Canadian trappers sought them even so recently as 1851.

Reading returned to the Trinity when gold was discovered in 1848. with a party of 60 Indians whom like nearly all the old rancheros then in the State he employed to help him in mining. This party not only extracted gold in the river banks, but they found it in the gulches and creeks in the vicinity of the present town of Shasta, which locality was known as Reading's Springs and was the scene of one of the principal mining rushes in the summer of 1849.

Since 1850 Major Reading has resided on his ranch on the upper Sacramento and has been known to thousands by his urbane and hospitable manners. He had some prominence as a member of the Whig party at one time and we think was several times nominated for office though not an office seeker. In 1851 he was the Whig candidate for Governor against John Bigler, and thousands of old Whigs still assert that he was elected, and only prevented from taking the office by the sharp practice of throwing out the vote of a precinct near the Oregon line on the pretense that it was in Oregon, although the same vote was afterwards admitted to decide the seat of a Democratic Assemblyman. After the war began his Southern proclivities led him into the Democratic party.

He was a man of gentlemanly and honorable traits and useful life. He leaves a wife and children.~

1868 June 2, Quincy Whig (Quincy, Illinois) - Mr. P. B. Reading, one of the earliest American settlers in California, where he has resided for the last twenty-five years, died in Shasta county on the 29th inst. In 1851 he came within a few votes of being elected Governor on the Whig Ticket.~

1883 October 20, Real Estate Transfer G. C. Frisbie to A. Barnes, 10 1/2 acres Reading Grant; $920.~