Rancho Santa Ana del Chino
Rancho Santa Ana del Chino was a 22,193-acre Mexican land grant in the Chino Hills and southwestern Pomona Valley, in present-day San Bernardino County, California. It was granted to Antonio Maria Lugo in 1841 by Mexican Alta California Governor Juan Bautista Alvarado; the name means "Santa Ana of the Fair Hair," though there have been statements that the ranch was named for a mission mayordomo, or foreman, who had curly hair, "chino" being a Spanish word for "curly". The rancho site included the present day cities of Chino and Chino Hills, California. In 1841, Antonio Maria Lugo was granted rights the Rancho Santa Ana del Chino on what had been part of the San Gabriel Mission lands used for grazing mission horses and cattle until the California missions were secularized by the Mexican government in the mid-1830s and their lands made available for private settlement. After taking possession and building an adobe house on what is now Boys' Republic in the city of Chino Hills, Lugo turned over the management of the ranch to his son-in-law, Isaac Williams Williams, born near Scranton, had resided in Ohio and Missouri before moving to New Mexico about 1823.
He remained there for several years and joined a fur trapping expedition to California in 1832, led by Ewing Young. Williams settled in Los Angeles, became known as Julian by the locals, worked as a merchant before marrying Maria de Jesus Lugo in 1839. After bearing three children, Maria de Jesus died in childbirth in 1842; the following year, an additional three square leagues was granted by Governor Micheltorena to Williams. While at the Chino ranch, Williams grazed thousands of cattle for the hide and tallow trade, taking these products to the crude harbor at San Pedro Bay. William Heath Davis, in his autobiography, discusses 1846-1847 trade with Williams and a visit to the ranch in that latter year. A notable event during the American war with Mexican California was the so-called "Battle of Chino," in which Williams and American and European compatriots, such as Benjamin D. Wilson, John Rowland, Michael White and others were surrounded by Mexican Californios defending their homeland. One of the leaders of the defenders was Williams' brother-in-law, Jose del Carmen Lugo, who ordered that the Williams house be set on fire to force the surrender of those trapped inside.
The captured men were taken to Paredon Blanco, now Boyle Heights, held there for several weeks before being released on pledges to act peaceably. Wilson blamed Williams for too capitulating to the Californios and was instrumental in denying Williams state recognition for his kindnesses to migrants coming to California. A California Historical Landmark plaque has been installed at a fire department training facility in Chino Hills adjacent to the Boys Republic property to commemorate the battle. With the cession of California to the United States following the Mexican-American War, the original negotiated version of the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo provided that the land grants would be honored, but this provision was removed at the insistence of President James Polk and the United States Congress; as the Gold Rush brought great wealth to Williams via the beef trade with the many thousands of migrants arriving to California, there were substantial problems with squatters on Spanish and Mexican-era grants.
Congress passed a California land claims act in March 1851 and a claim for Rancho Santa Ana del Chino was filed with the Public Land Commission in 1853, the grant, including the 22,193 acres of the original rancho and the additional 13,366 acres with the "Addition to the Rancho Santa Ana del Chino", was patented to Isaac Williams' daughter, Maria Merced Williams de Rains in 1869. After Williams' death in September 1856, Rancho Santa Ana del Chino was left to his two daughters, Merced Rains and Francisca Carlisle; the rancho became one of the stagecoach stations of the Butterfield Overland Mail in 1858, the same year Merced and her husband, sold their interest to Francisca and her husband Robert and purchased the nearby Rancho Cucamonga, where they lived until Rains' murder four years later. Carlisle was, in fact, accused by some of the murder of his brother-in-law, though the crime was never solved. While the Carlisles assumed full control of Chino, Robert Carlisle, embroiled in a dispute with the King family of El Monte, accusing Under Sheriff Andrew J. King of not doing enough to solve the Rains murder and for interfering in his management of the widow's estate.
After attacking and wounding Andrew King, Carlisle was accosted in July 1865 by King's brothers and Houston, in the crowded saloon of Los Angeles' Bella Union Hotel, once owned by John Rains. A massive shootout led to the deaths of Carlisle and Frank King, the wounding of Houston King and wounds suffered by others. Carlisle's widow, continued ownership of the ranch until 1881, with parts being leased out to several persons and the remainder managed by Joseph Bridger, husband of an out-of-wedlock daughter, named Victoria Regina Williams of Isaac Williams and Maria Antonia Apis, they had three other children together, Constance E. born in 1848, a son Feliciano born in 1850 who died young and another daughter Refugio born in 1852. Bridger built an adobe house on what is now Los Serranos Country Club in Chino Hills and served as ranch foreman from 1865 until his death in 1880. Victoria and Joseph had 8 children all on the Chino Rancho. Laurabella born 1866, Robert Rains born 1867, Thomas Joseph born 1868, Josefina born 1871, Albert James 1874, Anita R. born 1875, George Frederick born 1876 and Constance Helen born 1878.
Francisca Carlisle, marrie
San Bernardino County, California
San Bernardino County the County of San Bernardino, is a county located in the southern portion of the U. S. state of California, is located within the Greater Los Angeles area. As of the 2010 U. S. Census, the population was 2,035,210, making it the fifth-most populous county in California, the 12th-most populous in the United States; the county seat is San Bernardino. While included within the Greater Los Angeles area, San Bernardino County is included in the Riverside–San Bernardino–Ontario metropolitan statistical area, as well as the Los Angeles–Long Beach combined statistical area. With an area of 20,105 square miles, San Bernardino County is the largest county in the United States by area, although some of Alaska's boroughs and census areas are larger; the county is close to the size of West Virginia. It is larger than each of the nine smallest states, larger than the four smallest states combined, larger than 70 sovereign nations; this vast county stretches from where the bulk of the county population resides (in two Census County Divisions, holding 1,422,745 people as of the 2010 Census, covering the 450 square miles, across the thinly populated deserts and mountains.
It spans an area from south of the San Bernardino Mountains in San Bernardino Valley, to the Nevada border and the Colorado River. Spanish Missionaries from Mission San Gabriel Arcángel established a church at the village of Politania in 1810. Father Francisco Dumetz named the church San Bernardino on May 20, 1810, after the feast day of St. Bernardino of Siena; the Franciscans gave the name San Bernardino to the snowcapped peak in Southern California, in honor of the saint and it is from him that the county derives its name. In 1819, they established the San Bernardino de Sena Estancia, a mission farm in what is now Redlands. Following Mexican independence from Spain in 1821, Mexican citizens were granted land grants to establish ranchos in the area of the county. Rancho Jurupa in 1838, Rancho Cucamonga and El Rincon in 1839, Rancho Santa Ana del Chino in 1841, Rancho San Bernardino in 1842 and Rancho Muscupiabe in 1844. Agua Mansa was the first town in what became San Bernardino County, settled by immigrants from New Mexico on land donated from the Rancho Jurupa in 1841.
Following the purchase of Rancho San Bernardino, the establishment of the town of San Bernardino in 1851 by Mormon colonists, San Bernardino County was formed in 1853 from parts of Los Angeles County. Some of the southern parts of the county's territory were given to Riverside County in 1893. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 20,105 square miles, of which 20,057 square miles is land and 48 square miles is water, it is the largest county by the largest in the United States. It is larger than the states of New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island combined, it borders both Arizona. The bulk of the population two million, live in the 480 square miles south of the San Bernardino Mountains adjacent to Riverside and in the San Bernardino Valley. Over 300,000 others live just north of the San Bernardino Mountains, agglomerating around Victorville covering 280 square miles in Victor Valley, adjacent to Los Angeles County. Another 100,000 people live scattered across the rest of the sprawling county.
The Mojave National Preserve covers some of the eastern desert between Interstate 15 and Interstate 40. The desert portion includes the cities of Needles next to the Colorado River and Barstow at the junction in Interstate 15 and Interstate 40. Trona is at the northwestern part of the county west of Death Valley; this national park within Inyo County has a small portion of land within the San Bernardino County. The largest metropolitan area in the Mojave Desert part of the county is Victor Valley, with the incorporated localities of Adelanto, Apple Valley and Victorville. Further south, a portion of Joshua Tree National Park overlaps the county near the High Desert area, in the vicinity of Twentynine Palms; the remaining towns make up the remainder of the High Desert: Pioneertown, Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree and Morongo Valley. The mountains are home to the San Bernardino National Forest, include the communities of Crestline, Lake Arrowhead, Running Springs, Big Bear City, Forest Falls, Big Bear Lake.
The San Bernardino Valley is at the eastern end of the San Gabriel Valley. The San Bernardino Valley includes the cities of Ontario, Chino Hills, Fontana, Colton, Grand Terrace, Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, Loma Linda, Highland and Yucaipa. Angeles National Forest Death Valley National Park Havasu National Wildlife Refuge Joshua Tree National Park Mojave National Preserve San Bernardino National Forest There are at least 35 official wilderness areas in the county that are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System; this is the largest number of any county in the United States. The majority are managed by the Bureau of Land Management, but some are integral components of the above listed national protected areas. Most of these wilderness areas lie within the county, but a few are shared with neighboring counties. Except as noted, these wilderness areas are managed by the Bureau of Land Management and lie within San Bernardino County: The 2010 United States Census reported that San Bernardino County had a population of 2,035,210.
The racial makeup of San Bernardino County was 1,153,16
Jurupa Valley, California
Jurupa Valley is a city in Riverside County, California. It is located next to Eastvale. On March 8, 2011, voters approved a ballot measure, designated as Measure A, to incorporate the area into its own city; the city of Jurupa Valley covers 43.5 square miles, has an estimated population of 106,028. Residents of the area had voted on incorporation in 1992. Jurupa Valley is located north and west of the Santa Ana River, south of the Riverside-San Bernardino County line, east of Interstate 15, it includes the neighborhoods of Mira Loma, Glen Avon, Sky Country, Indian Hills, Rubidoux, Jurupa, Jurupa Hills, Sunnyslope. Jurupa Valley was incorporated after the 2010 United States Census, but it is possible to determine an estimated population by summing up the results from the census-designated places of Glen Avon, Mira Loma, Pedley and Sunnyslope. According to the United States Census Bureau, as of July 1, 2017, the estimated population was 106,028. In the California State Legislature, Jurupa Valley is located in the 31st Senate District, represented by Democrat Richard Roth, in the 60th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Sabrina Cervantes.
In the House of Representatives, the vast majority of Jurupa Valley is part of the 41st Congressional District, represented by Democrat Mark Takano. A small portion of the city is located in 42nd Congressional District, represented by Republican Ken Calvert. California is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris. Jurupa Valley is home to the Jurupa Unified School District; the district operates 16 Elementary Schools, 4 Middle Schools, 3 Continuation Schools, 4 High Schools, including: Jurupa Valley High School Rubidoux High School Patriot High School Rivercrest Preparatory Public Transportation in Jurupa Valley is provided by Riverside Transit Agency. Jurupa Valley/Pedley station is served by Metrolink, the city is served by Ontario International Airport; some major roads in Jurupa Valley include Interstate 15 and California State Route 60. City of Jurupa Valley Jurupa Unified School District web site Jurupa Valley Measure A official sample ballot
Riverside County, California
Riverside County is one of fifty-eight counties in the U. S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 2,189,641, making it the 4th-most populous county in California and the 11th-most populous in the United States; the name was derived from the city of Riverside, the county seat. Riverside County is included in the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area known as the Inland Empire; the county is included in the Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA Combined Statistical Area. There is a high concentration of sprawling tract housing communities around Riverside and along the Interstate 10, 15, 215 freeways. Rectangular, Riverside County covers 7,208 square miles in Southern California, spanning from the Greater Los Angeles area to the Arizona border. Geographically, the county is desert in the central and eastern portions, but has a Mediterranean climate in the western portion. Most of Joshua Tree National Park is located in the county; the resort cities of Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage, Desert Hot Springs are all located in the Coachella Valley region of central Riverside County.
Large numbers of Los Angeles area workers have moved to the county in recent years to take advantage of affordable housing. Along with neighboring San Bernardino County, it was one of the fastest growing regions in the state prior to the recent changes in the regional economy. In addition, but significant, numbers of people have been moving into Southwest Riverside County from the San Diego-Tijuana metropolitan area; the cities of Temecula and Murrieta accounted for 20% of the increase in population of the county between 2000 and 2007. Riverside County was named for the Santa Ana River in 1870; the indigenous peoples of what is now Riverside County are Cupeño and Cahuilla Indians. The Luiseño lived in the Aguanga and Temecula Basins, Elsinore Trough and eastern Santa Ana Mountains and southward into San Diego County; the Cahuilla lived to the east and north of the Luiseño in the inland valleys, in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains and the desert of the Salton Sink. The first European settlement in the county was a Mission San Luis Rey de Francia estancia or farm, at the Luiseño village of Temecula.
Grain and grapes were grown here. In 1819, the Mission granted land to Leandro Serrano, mayordomo of San Antonio de Pala Asistencia for the Mission of San Luis Rey for Rancho Temescal. Following Mexican independence and the 1833 confiscation of Mission lands, more ranchos were granted. Rancho Jurupa in 1838, El Rincon in 1839, Rancho San Jacinto Viejo in 1842, Rancho San Jacinto y San Gorgonio in 1843, Ranchos La Laguna, Temecula in 1844, Ranchos Little Temecula, Potreros de San Juan Capistrano in 1845, Ranchos San Jacinto Sobrante, La Sierra, La Sierra, Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Nuevo y Potrero in 1846. New Mexican colonists founded the town of La Placita on the east side of the Santa Ana River at the northern extremity of what is now the city of Riverside in 1843; when the initial 27 California counties were established in 1850, the area today known as Riverside County was divided between Los Angeles County and San Diego County. In 1853, the eastern part of Los Angeles County was used to create San Bernardino County.
Between 1891 and 1893, several proposals and legislative attempts were put forth to form new counties in Southern California. These proposals included one for one for a San Jacinto County. None of the proposals were adopted until a measure to create Riverside County was signed by Governor Henry H. Markham on March 11, 1893; the new county was created from parts of San Diego County. On May 2, 1893, seventy percent of voters approved the formation of Riverside County. Voters chose the city of Riverside as the county seat by a large margin. Riverside County was formed on May 9, 1893, when the Board of Commissioners filed the final canvass of the votes. Riverside County is the birthplace of lane markings, thanks to Dr. June McCarroll in 1915 when she suggested her idea to the state government; the county is the location of the March Air Reserve Base, one of the oldest airfields continuously operated by the United States military. Established as the Alessandro Flying Training Field in February 1918, it was one of thirty-two U.
S. Army Air Service training camps established after the United States entry into World War I in April 1917; the airfield was renamed March Field the following month for 2d Lieutenant Peyton C. March, Jr. the deceased son of the then-Army Chief of Staff, General Peyton C. March, killed in an air crash in Texas just fifteen days after being commissioned. March Field remained an active Army Air Service U. S. Army Air Corps installation throughout the interwar period becoming a major installation of the U. S. Army Air Forces during World War II. Renamed March Air Force Base in 1947 following the establishment of the U. S. Air Force, it was a major Strategic Air Command installation throughout the Cold War. In 1996, it was transferred to the Air Force Reserve Command and gained its current name as a major base for the Air Force Reserve and the California Air National Guard. Riverside county was a major focal point of the Civil Rights Movements in the US the African-American sections of Riverside and Mexican-American communities of the Coachella Valley visited by Cesar Chavez of the farm labor union struggle.
Riverside county has been a focus of modern Native American Gaming enterprises. In the early 1980s, the county government attempted to shut down small bingo halls operated by the Morongo Band of Cahuilla Mission In
Abel Stearns was a trader who came to the Pueblo de Los Angeles, Alta California in 1829 and became a major landowner, cattle rancher and one of the area's wealthiest citizens. Stearns was born in Lunenburg, the son of Elizabeth and Levi Stearns, a farmer, his parents were both from families. Stearns went to Mexico in about 1826. In 1829, Stearns emigrated to Monterey, California settled in the Pueblo de los Ángeles, present day Los Angeles, California, he obtained a government concession to build a warehouse at the nearest seaport. He established a stagecoach route connecting San Pedro Bay with the Los Angeles pueblo. In 1831, he built a three-story flour mill on Los Angeles. Soon, Stearns became one of the most influential citizens of the pueblo. In 1842 Stearns bought his first rancho, the 28,000-acre Rancho Los Alamitos between Los Angeles and the harbor. However, there was a drought between 1862 and 1864, said to have resulted in the death of 50,000 cattle on Stearns land alone. Stearns mortgaged the rancho to Michael Reese, who purchased it at a sheriff's sale.
Reese's estate was sold to John W. Bixby and Isaias W. Hellman, a founder of the Farmers and Merchants Bank. In 1842 Stearns made the first shipment to the U. S. Mint of California gold on record. On July 8, 1843, his package of 1,843 ounces of placer gold valued at $19 an ounce was deposited in the Philadelphia Mint by Alfred Robinson. Following the Mexican-American War, Stearns represented Los Angeles to the US military government of California, 1848-1850, he was a delegate to the 1849 California Constitutional Convention, representing the district of Los Angeles. By 1860, Stearns was the most important land owner in Southern California, owned Rancho La Habra, Rancho Los Coyotes, Rancho San Juan Cajón de Santa Ana, Rancho Las Bolsas, Rancho La Bolsa Chica, Rancho Jurupa and Rancho La Sierra. Stearns was hit causing the loss of thousands of cattle. By 1868 Stearns had suffered such financial reverses that he mortgaged all his ranch assets in what were Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. To obtain the necessary operating capital, he formed a real estate sales partnership, with Alfred Robinson and four San Francisco investors.
Polhemus, Edward Martin. He turned over 177,796 acres including all but one of his ranchos; the era of the large cattle ranchos was on the way out. In its place came agriculture, as ranchos were broken up and sold in 40-acre farms and ranches; the Robinson Trust acted as sales agents for the subdivisions. In order to gain maximum coverage for their campaign, they linked themselves to the California Immigrant Union and helped guide that organization’s sales pitches. Despite considerable friction between Stearns and the other members of the trust, the Robinson Trust succeeded. By 1870 Stearns was out from under the debts incurred by the drought of the 1860s and was on his way to accumulating yet another fortune. Stearns was nicknamed "Cara de Caballo" because of his long-jawed countenance. In 1841, he married Arcadia Bandini of the wealthy Bandini family, they entertained at their Los Angeles home, the historic Don Abel Stearns House. Stearns died on August 23, 1871, at age 72 in the Grand Hotel, San Francisco, is interred at Calvary Cemetery, Los Angeles.
List of pre-statehood mayors of Los Angeles, California History of Los Angeles Ranchos of California List of Ranchos of California
Juan Bautista Alvarado
Juan Bautista Valentín Alvarado y Vallejo was a Californio and Governor of Las Californias from 1837 to 1842. In 1836, he led a coup that seized Monterey and declared himself governor, backed by other northern Californios, with help from Capt. Isaac Graham and his "Tennessee Rifles". Alvarado declared independence for California but, after negotiations with the territorial Diputación, was persuaded to rejoin Mexico peacefully in exchange for more local autonomy; as part of the agreement, in 1837 he was appointed governor of Las Californias, served until 1842. Alvarado was born in Alta California, to Jose Francisco Alvarado and María Josefa Vallejo, his grandfather Juan Bautista Alvarado accompanied Gaspar de Portolà as an enlisted man in the Spanish Army in 1769. His father died a few months after his birth and his mother remarried three years leaving Juan Bautista in the care of his grandparents on the Vallejo side, where he and Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo grew up together, they were both taught by an English merchant living in Monterey.
In 1827 the eighteen-year-old Alvarado was hired as secretary to the territorial legislature. In 1829 he was arrested along with Vallejo and another friend, José Castro, by soldiers involved in the military revolt led by Joaquín Solis. In 1831 he built a house in Monterey for his mistress, Juliana Francisca Ramona y Castillo, whom he called "Raymunda", to live in. Over the years, the pair had a total of at least two illegitimate daughters whom he recognized and several more he did not recognize, but he never married their mother. During this period Alvarado began drinking heavily. One of his daughters claimed that Raymunda had refused to marry Alvarado because of his excessive drinking. Alvarado supported secularization of the Spanish missions in California, he was appointed by José María de Echeandía to oversee the turn over of Mission San Miguel though Echeandía was no longer governor. The new governor Manuel Victoria rescinded the order and sought to have Alvarado and Castro arrested; the pair fled and were hidden by their old friend Vallejo, who had become adjutant at the Presidio of San Francisco.
However, Victoria was unpopular and Echeandía overthrew his rule and replaced him with Pío de Jesús Pico near the end of 1831. Secularization of the missions resumed in 1833. In 1834 Alvarado was elected to the legislature as a delegate and appointed customs inspector in Monterey. Governor José Figueroa granted Rancho El Sur, two square leagues of land, or about 9,000 acres, south of Monterey, to Alvarado on October 30, 1834. After Figueroa's death in September 1835, Nicolás Gutiérrez was appointed as interim governor in January 1836, he was replaced by Mariano Chico in April, but Chico was unpopular. His intelligence agents told him that yet another Californio revolt was brewing, so he fled back to Mexico, claiming he planned to gather troops against the independent Californios. Instead, Mexico reprimanded him for abandoning his post. Gutierrez, the military commandant, re-assumed the governorship, but like the Mexican governors before him, the Californios forced him, too, to flee; as senior members of the legislature and Castro, with political support from Vallejo and backing from a group of Tennesseans led by Capt.
Isaac Graham, forced Gutierrez out of the country. Alvarado's Californio coup wrote a constitution and adopted a new flag—a single red star on a white background, but neither were used after Alvarado made peace with Mexico. Alvarado, at age 27, was appointed governor, but the city council of Los Angeles protested. Alvarado and Graham went south and negotiated a compromise after three months, avoiding a civil war. However, the city council of San Diego voiced its disagreement with Alvarado's revolt; this time, the Mexican government was involved and there were rumors that the Mexican Army was ready to step in. Alvarado was able to negotiate another compromise to keep the peace. Mexico reneged on the agreement and appointed Carlos Antonio Carrillo, popular among the southerners, governor on December 6, 1837; this time, civil war broke out and after several battles, Carrillo was forced out. Mexico relented and recognized Alvarado as governor. Alvarado married Doña Martina Castro on August 24, 1839 in Santa Clara, but didn't attend his own wedding having his half-brother, Jose Antonio Estrada, stand in for him.
Though he claimed to be detained in Monterey on official business, it was rumored he was drunk and unable to function. After the wedding, Alvarado lived with his bride in Monterey, but continued on with mistress, who lived nearby; the process of secularization of the missions was in its final stages, it was at this time that Alvarado parceled out much of their land to prominent Californios via land grants. Though he took no land for himself, he did however, trade his Rancho El Sur to John B. R. Cooper in exchange for Rancho Bolsa del Potrero which he subsequently sold back to Cooper, he purchased Rancho El Alisal near Salinas in 1841 from his former tutor William Hartnell. In April 1840 a report of a planned revolt against Alvarado by a group of foreigners, led by former ally Isaac Graham, caused the governor to order their arrest and deportation to Mexico City for trial, they were however, acquitted of all charges in June 1841. In 1841, political leaders in the United States were declaring their doctrine of Manifest Destiny, Californios grew concerned over their intentions.
Vallejo conferred with Castro and
Benjamin Davis Wilson
Benjamin Davis Wilson was an American politician. He was known to the Native Americans as Don Benito because of his benevolent manner in his treatment of Native American affairs. Wilson, a native of Tennessee, was a fur trader before coming to California. Detained in Southern California while attempting to obtain passage to China, Wilson decided to remain there, he married Ramona Yorba, daughter of Bernardo Yorba, a wealthy and prominent landowner, purchased part of Rancho Jurupa in what would become Riverside County. Wilson was made Justice of the Peace for the Inland Territory and was entrusted with the care of Native American affairs, he was commissioned to deal with the hostile Ute tribe over their cattle rustling and other crimes against the ranchers. His marriage to his second wife, Margaret Hereford produced a daughter Ruth who would be mother to General George S. Patton Jr. commander of U. S. and allied forces during World War II. Wilson became the first non-Hispanic owner of Rancho San Pascual, which encompassed today's towns of Pasadena, South Pasadena, San Marino and San Gabriel.
Wilson was the second elected Mayor of Los Angeles for one term, Los Angeles County Supervisor 3 terms and served three terms as a California State Senator. Wilson came to California with the Workman-Rowland Party in 1841 seeking passage to China. In 1842 Wilson bought a key portion of Rancho Jurupa from Juan Bandini, a section that would be named Rancho Rubidoux. Encompassing most of present-day Rubidoux, California, as well as a significant portion of downtown Riverside, Wilson became the first permanent settler in the Riverside area. In 1844 he married his first wife, Ramona Yorba, whose father Bernardo Yorba, was the prominent Spanish landholder of Rancho Cañón de Santa Ana. Wilson gained esteem and was asked to assist with Native American affairs. Wilson accepted by becoming Justice of the Peace of the Inland Territory. In 1845 he was asked to pursue a band of marauding Native Americans led by an escaped neophyte from the San Gabriel Mission, who stole horses from the local ranchers; the Indians drove numbering in the thousands, up to the high desert near Lucerne.
In his pursuit, Wilson sent 22 men through the Cajon Pass and led another 22 into the depths of the San Bernardino Mountains. According to Trafzer, the resident Serrano let Wilson pass through their territory in pursuit of the raiders. Wilson sent his 22 men in pairs on a bear hunt, gathering 11 pelts. On their return trip to Jurupa, they gathered another 11 pelts, he named the place Big Bear Lake. The lake today is known as Baldwin Lake, after Elias J. "Lucky" Baldwin, while the name Big Bear Lake was re-applied to a reservoir built nearby in 1884. In 1850, Wilson was elected to the Los Angeles Common Council, a year he became the second elected mayor of Los Angeles after California was made a state, he served as a Los Angeles County supervisor. He was elected to three terms of the California State Senate. In 1854 Wilson established Lake Vineyard, his own ranch and winery near modern-day San Gabriel, California, he came into possession of adjoining Rancho San Pascual through a series of complicated land deals, which began with his lending money to the Rancho's owner Manuel Garfias in 1859.
In 1863 Wilson and Dr. John Strother Griffin, who had lent Garfias money — and with whom Wilson undertook many business deals in early Los Angeles, including railways, oil exploration, real estate and ranching — bought the entire rancho property outright, diverted water from the Arroyo Seco up to the dry mesa via an aqueduct called the "Wilson Ditch." In 1864 Wilson took the first white man's expedition to a high peak of the San Gabriel Mountains that would be named Mount Wilson. He hoped to harvest timber there for the making of wine vats; the Wilson Trail became a popular one or two-day hike to the crest of the San Gabriel Mountains by local residents for years to come. In 1873, Wilson and Griffin subdivided their land. Griffin sold 2,500 acres of his property to the "Indiana Colony," represented by Daniel M. Berry. In 1876, after the Colony had sold most of its allotted land and established what would become the City of Pasadena, Wilson began subdividing and developing his adjacent landholdings which would become the eastern side of the new settlement.
Wilson lived out his days in present-day San Gabriel. He gave several acres of property to his son-in-law James de Barth Shorb. Other parts developed as Alhambra. Wilson's first wife died in 1849, they would have four children of which one daughter Ruth would marry George Patton, Sr. and have a son who would become the World War II General George S. Patton, Jr; the Pattons would purchase Lake Vineyard. Wilson was buried in San Gabriel Cemetery; the last of his land holdings in the downtown Pasadena area were bequeathed to Central School on South Fair Oaks Avenue. Mount Wilson, a metromedia center for the greater Los Angeles area, is the most famous monument to Benjamin Wilson. Wilson Avenue in Pasadena and Don Benito School of the Pasadena Unified School District honor his name. Kielbasa, John R.. "Flores Adobe". Historic Adobes of Los Angeles County. Pittsburg: Dorrance Publishing Co. ISBN 0-8059-4172-X.. Read, Nat B.. Don Benito Wilson: From Mountain Man to Mayor: Los Angeles 1841 - 1878. An