How I Came to Santa Cruz
by Frederick Augustus Hihn
Introduction to F. A. Hihn
With Notes of Explanation
by Stanley D. Stevens
[first published in the Santa Cruz County History Journal, Issue No. 1, 1994]
Edward S. Harrison’s History of Santa Cruz County, California, published in 1892, includes Hihn’s portrait as the frontispiece. There need be no other statement than that; Hihn’s place is secure.
From his arrival on September 20, 1851, at age 22, until his death on August 23, 1913, at age 84, Frederick Augustus Hihn was the most prominent pioneer of the county, the man with the greatest land holdings in the county, the one who paid the greatest amount in property taxes, and the county’s first millionaire.
He was a native of Germany, well-educated in merchandising, and motivated to seek his fortune in the Gold Rush of California — because he desired to “save up money and send it to [his] parents in order that several of [his] brothers could come after [him]. [He] believed, [in 1849, when he wrote entries in his diary on his voyage around the Horn to California], that through the united efforts of [him]self and [his] brothers [that] it should be possible to take care of [their] younger brothers and sisters and procure a care-free old age for [their] parents.” Indeed, two brothers, Hugo and Lewis, joined him here later.
A proper biography of Hihn might require several volumes; it may be sufficient to quote a handy list (even though incomplete) from Donald T. Clark’s Santa Cruz County Place Names (Clark defines ten place names in the county named for Hihn, p. 153-154:)
“He was by all odds the foremost financier of his adopted town, investing his wealth and capacity for making money in virtually everything from the development of potential coal resources to the construction of railroads. —Riptide, October 19, 1950, p. 39
Among his many political and economic activities in the county we list these:
•In 1851, with Henry Hintch, started a grocery business in Santa Cruz
•With Elihu Anthony developed (1856) Santa Cruz water system
•Proprietor, Soquel Water Works
•Investor (1858) in Santa Clara Turnpike Company — first wagon road between Santa Cruz (Soquel) and Santa Clara Valley
•Had extensive real estate holdings in both the city and county of Santa Cruz; owned large portion of the former Rancho Soquel Augmentation
•Land developer and subdivider
•Founder, Camp Capitola (1869)
•One of the organizers of San Lorenzo Valley Railroad (1861), California Coast Railroad (1867); member Railroad Committee of Santa Cruz (1869); helped organize and was President, Santa Cruz & Watsonville Railroad Co. (1872); one of organizers of Santa Cruz Railroad, President 1873-1881
•Helped organize Santa Cruz City Bank and City Savings Bank of Santa Cruz
•Owned sawmills at Aptos, Valencia, Glenwood, Gold Gulch, Laurel, Boulder Creek, and on Kings Creek
•President of Society of California Pioneers of Santa Cruz County, which he helped organize
•Santa Cruz County Supervisor
•State Assemblyman from Santa Cruz 1870-72
•Santa Cruz school trustee
•President, Santa Cruz Fair Building Association
•Organized F. A. Hihn Company
I should add: —after the California Legislature created a new college in 1902, Governor Henry T. Gage appointed Hihn as one of five Trustees of California State Polytechnic College — San Luis Obispo. Hihn was the businessman among them, he selected its site, negotiated its purchase, drew up the deeds, and was involved in all aspects of its foundation, including the selection of Watsonville architect, William H. Weeks.
It is appropriate for our new venture, the Santa Cruz County History Journal, [Issue No. One, 1994] to include Hihn’s heretofore unpublished account of his arrival in Santa Cruz. His description of the events he experienced, 143-years ago, are as gripping as the best in American pioneer literature. His words are published without change. End Notes are provided as guidance for the reader to better understand those places and people he encountered on his journey from San Francisco.
We are indebted to the decendants of F. A. Hihn for their generosity and trust in providing his Diary. It is gratifiying that they wish to share his life and accomplishments with the community that he so dearly loved.
—Stanley D. Stevens
How I Came to Santa Cruz
1851 San Francisco
May 5: The great fire swept down Washington Street to the Bay;1 my drug store2 with nearly all its contents gone. I had a lot of goods in Hutton’s Auction3 store on Washington, below Montgomery, found it abandoned and everything in confusion; before I could find my goods the house became full of smoke, nearly killing me, got out of the back door. Had saved a few things out of the drug store, which I sat up with during the night.
May 6: Woke up at the house of my partner; he said he found me asleep with the goods and took me to the house. I looked up and saw a microscope I had missed for some time, felt in my pocket and found my purse with $500 gone. Swore vengeance.
May 7: Went to live in a room in an alley off Clay Street, north of Dupont:4 collected small sums due me and invested all in buying ticking and hay to make straw mattresses.
May 8: Made mattresses.
June 20: Mattresses, dull sale; placed them for sale on commission.
June 29: Great fire this morning;5 burnt out again, lost all my mattresses and all my stock. Down to bedrock again.
June 30: Discouraged. Made up my mind to go back to my fatherland. Was on my way to ship as a sailor to work my passage. Passed by where my drug store was on Washington Street, found my old neighbor Brown6 clearing the coals from his place and some new lumber on the street. “What are you doing, Brown,” says I. “Getting ready to put up a shanty,” says he. “What,” says I. “Start your own shop again? I was burnt out twice in two months and I have given it up.” “Well,” says he, “someone has got to do business. It might just as well be I as someone else.” I pulled my hat down over my eyes, saying, “What a coward I am.” I did not look any further for a vessel to go home on.
July 3: Took the agency of the Sacramento Soap Factory.7
July 4: Am selling soap to dealers and buying tallow, soda, and rosin for the soap factory.
Aug. 12: Soap selling slow. Agreed with H. Hintch,8 a cigar dealer, who was also burnt out in the May and June fires, to buy out a lot of mules, pack them with goods and go to settle at Mission San Antonio,9 of which I had read in Germany as having a fine climate and rich lands.
Aug. 14: We bought five mules with pack saddles and two horses, one for Hintch’s wife, who is to go along. Commenced to buy the goods.
Aug. 16: Am 22 years old today.10 How different from my last birthday at home, three years ago. There I had presents and good wishes from my dear parents and brothers and sisters, a beautiful wreath of flowers, and a fine cake. I have had to rough it ever since I left home and now all I have is $300, invested in a few pack mules and a little merchandise.
But never mind. I was a boy then and am a strong man now, and I won’t give up. My father and mother are getting old and they need my assistance.
1851 San Mateo
Aug. 17: This morning we started for San Antonio. We had some trouble to pack the mules, but we got a fair start at 8 o’clock, arrived at San Mateo late in the evening, and camped under the oaks. The roan mare got away with the saddle on.
Aug. 18: Could not find the mare. A Spaniard came along with a lot of horses, mules, and jacks. I bought a fine yellow mule and a jack from him for $90, my partner’s money.
Aug. 19: Hunted the mare again. Was riding Mrs. Hintch’s horse with a side-saddle. Found a man riding the mare towards the City; claimed the mare. He says, “All right, I picked the mare up; my team is right ahead, let us overhaul it and you can take the mare.” “All right,” says I, and so we went ahead, but the mare was fast and my old plug slow and the side-saddle hard to ride on, so I could not keep up with him — and he would not go slow. He soon got out of my sight, but I followed him, passed his team, and found him at Sanchez’s11 fixing the saddle. I jumped off my horse and tried to get hold of the mare, but he said, “Hold on, Sonnie, the mare is too good for you. I will keep her myself and you can go to h—!” He was a big powerful man and I a boy, but I did not mean to let him get away with the mare. So I drew my revolver and told him I must have the mare. “You darsn’t fire,” said he, and jumped at me, and struck the pistol out of my hand; it went off but did not hit him. He threw me down and held me, saying, “My teamster will be here soon, and then we will finish you.” I heard the team coming.
The next moment I was on top, with my hand on his throat. He had to let go, but only just in time before the teamster could get hold of me. He picked up my pistol, and I ran for the house. Three times the hammer clicked, but the barrels were empty. I had emptied them early in the morning, shooting at squirrels. I got into the house, the two men close after me. The Frenchman,12 who kept the house, took my pistol away from them as they entered. I smashed an old chair, took hold of a leg, got into a corner and kept the men off. The big man told the teamster, “You hold him here, and I will get away with the mare.” No sooner had he gone than I drove the teamster away and followed the big man. I overtook him in a willow grove; he was fixing the saddle again. I jumped from my horse and took hold of the mare, while he grabbed a butcher knife which I had in a sheath on my side. “Ah,” he said, “now I will rip you open.”
I don’t know how I managed to get the knife away from him, but I grabbed his hand and the knife was in my hand again. “Well” said he, “my teamster will be here soon and that will settle your hash.” “Yes,” said I, “but you will die before he comes, unless you let that mare go.” It was awful for me to make up my mind to kill him — I was thinking of my folks at home and of God.
The team coming, and yet some distance off, I said to him, “I will call for help three times, and if none comes, you die.” I called loudly, “Help, help, help,” and just as the team stopped close by us and I was ready to drive my knife into his heart, three men came out through the bushes. I asked them to help me arrest the thief. He told them that he did not claim the mare, but that he had found her and wanted $10.00 for his trouble, but that I refused to pay him. The teamster backed him up in his statement, and the men decided that the mare should be given up to me and I should pay him $5.00. I hated to do so, but did it. The man went away on the team. I cursed the men for refusing to help arrest the man. They said, “That man is the leader of a band of thieves; we are poor, and live close by here with our families; if we had helped to arrest him our houses would probably be burned and we would be murdered before daylight tomorrow.
I went back to Sanchez and found that the teamster had got my pistol.
Went back to camp.
1851 Santa Clara
Aug. 20: Started anew on our voyage. Camped in the evening near Santa Clara Mission.
1851 San Jose
Aug. 21: Passed through San Jose; was astonished to find such a fine large town. Camped 18 miles south of San Jose.13
1851 San Juan Bautista
Aug. 22: Arrived at San Juan at noon. Our mules’ backs had got sore. Decided to rest them for a few days. Hired a room in an old adobe near McMahon’s store14 and displayed our goods.
Aug. 24: Mr. Breen15 and his family were about the only white settlers there, except McMahon and a French baker.16 All the others were Californians; they flocked into our store as soon as we opened. Neither my partner nor I could speak Spanish, so I tried to make use of what I could remember of Latin. They would say, “Es un padre.”
Aug. 25: Had picked up some Spanish and tried it for the first time. A senorita came in to buy a handkerchief. “Un peso,” I ought to have said, but I did say, “Un beso.” She took the handkerchief and I took un beso.
Aug. 30: Nearly all the goods sold. It was decided that I should start the next day, take the horses, mules and jack, and go to the City, keep the yellow mule and roan mare and sell the other stock, buy a wagon and a load of goods, and come back to San Juan.
Two Spanish gamblers had been watching me. I gave out that I was going to the City the next day, but I quietly started at supper time, got to the river about dark, turned down the river and then back again up the river above the crossing, tied my animals in the willows, had a few crackers and water for supper, and waited until near day break, when I started again on my trip. When about 20 miles from San Jose, I met these two gamblers on horseback going towards San Juan. They must have followed me and finally returned, giving up the chase. I had $1,400.00 in my belt.
I greeted them, having my pistol in my hand on the pommel of my saddle, pointed at them, saying, “Buenos dios, caballeros, como lo va.”
They saw I was prepared and went on without troubling me.
1851 San Jose
Aug. 30: Arrived at San Jose in the afternoon, stopped at the Mariposa Store.17
Sold the jack and the mules, kept the yellow mule.
Fearing that the Spanish gamblers might have followed me, and it being a moonlit night, I went towards San Francisco. About midnight I arrived amongst the oaks on the Pulgas Ranch,18 when I fell from my horse fainting. I laid there about two hours before I became conscious, took the saddle off the mare, tied the horse to the fence, and had a good sleep until morning.
1851 San Francisco
Sept. 1: Arrived in San Francisco last night, sold the old horse, bought an old wagon and harness.
Sept. 6: Have bought a fine assortment of goods, intend to start for San Juan tomorrow. As I have never harnessed, hitched up or drove a horse, I hired Holm19 to assist me and to go to San Juan with me.
Sept. 7: This morning early, Holm and I hitched up buckskin and roan and drove them to Commercial Street, where part of my goods were stored.
Holm could not drive, it took the whole street for him to get along, and he could not get to the front of the store, where the goods were. So we had to pack them to where the wagon was.
We then started to finish loading on Kearny Street, finally got all loaded. I thought I had better drive, started, and ran into a cart.
The cartman swore great big blue oaths. I told him not to swear so hard, that I had never driven before, and that I was trying my best to get along.
Says he, “Don’t mind my swearing, youngster, a fellow has got to say something when he gets mad.”
“Here Jack,” he said, calling to a man who was standing near by; “Take care of my cart while I get this boy out of the scrape.” Then he got on and started the horses up. Then he started in again aswearing “H—— & D——, who has harnessed up this team, the lines are wrong, everything is wrong.”
So he changed the lines and loosened the harness on top, and drove until we got out of the crowd near California Street. He would not take any pay, said he had taken it out in swearing.
1851 San Jose
Sept. 8: Passed through San Jose, and got along all right, until we came to Fisher’s,20 when the tire came off the hind-wheel, and the wheel went down with two spokes broken.
Sept. 9: Made spokes out of oak saplings, got a raw-hide, cut it into strips, put the tire on, and wrapped it with the strips.
Sept. 10: Started for San Juan, driving slowly. Holm had to walk behind the wagon and keep the tire on.
1851 San Juan Bautista
Sept. 10: Arrived at San Juan in a dilapidated condition, but everybody turned out and welcomed us. I asked what was the matter. Then my partner told me that he never expected to see me alive again; that the evening I had left for the City the two Mexican gamblers inquired for me and, finding I had gone, they started late in the evening on horseback after me and returned the next morning, and then left the town, no one knew where to.
Sept. 11: Wanted to unpack the goods I bought, but my partner said “No. Let us go back to San Antonio.”
Sept. 12: Started for San Antonio, team heavily loaded, went slowly.
Joe Boston23 kept a store near the hotel, no customers, bought shoes from him much cheaper than in the City, also bought some good of a German house very cheap.
Sept. 14: Started out again for San Antonio.
1851 Salinas Valley
Sept. 15: Camped last night in the Salinas Valley. Saw a big herd of antelopes early this morning.
1851 Soledad Mission
Sept. 16: Arrived at Mission Soledad. Only one inhabitant. Had a sign “Tienda” over his door.
“What have you got to sell,” I asked him. “Barley,” said he. “What else?” “Lemonade.” “Who buys?” “De Repente Algunos,” meaning occasionally a few.
The whole country looks indeed like a solitude. Am getting discouraged.
Sept. 17: On our way for San Antonio. Got into deep sand, horses could not pull the load. My partner wanted me to whip them. I refused. Got off the wagon and said I would not go any further. He drew his pistol and said he would kill me. “No, you won’t,” said I, walking towards him; “Put down that pistol or I’ll knock you down,” showing him the butt end of the whip. He put the pistol down, and I took it away from him. “Now,” said I, “it is time for us to divide.” He said he had the most money and wanted the team. “All right,” said I, “You take the team and enough more to make us even, and then let us make two piles out of the balance, and throw up for choice.”
The piles were made, but by that time my partner wanted to know what I was going to do with my things. I told him that I expected to try to take them to Santa Cruz and sell them there, and go back by schooner to the City.
As I had never before heard of Santa Cruz, except once casually in Monterey, I don’t know how I came to select the place.
“Let us go to Santa Cruz together,” my partner said; at first I refused, but he begged so hard and I did not know how I could possibly get my goods out of this wilderness without a team, so at last I consented. The goods were packed again into the wagon, and the horses headed north towards Santa Cruz.
Sept. 18: Stopped for lunch near the foot-hills. I went out to prospect for a road, found it. As I was coming back, I found both my partner and his wife in great agony and vomiting, and a terrible smell. I asked him what was the matter. He pointed to a small spotted animal that was hopping about, about the size of a cat. “Chase it away, it is killing us.” I went after the animal, threw my riatta over it, dragged it until it was dead, and then brought it back to camp. “Take it away, for God’s sake, take it away,” my partner and his wife cried, and they commenced vomiting again.
I took it away and when I came back they told me that Mrs. Hintsch saw this animal hopping about in the grass, and thinking it was a rare animal, she threw her shawl over it to capture it, but the shawl went too far and the animal gave her a dose all over such as she will never forget. Hintsch came to her assistance and got a good dose too. That night I took their clothes, and the only ones they had, and buried them in a hole. The next morning the smell was all gone.
1851 Santa Cruz County
Sept. 19: Crossed the Pajaro River, bought a fine water melon from an Indian, who has a little garden on the banks of the river. The melon was very fine.
1851 Santa Cruz
Sept. 20: Arrived on bank of San Lorenzo. The axle of our wagon broke. Saddled buckskin and rode over to the town to get a team to take our goods across and to get a place to stop in. The first man I met was Andy Trust.24 I asked him about team and a place, but he looked at the yellow mule and did not pay any attention to what I said. I went up the street and met Jim Prewitt.25
He did the same as Trust. But finally he told me that the place next door was vacant, and that Mr. Case26 had charge of it. So I went to see Case and hired the place from him, got Fairchild’s27 team to haul the goods over, and before evening we were housed in the Chaloupe,28 as the Spaniards called it, at the junction of Front and Willow Streets (now Pacific Avenue), and our mare and mule were in the back yard.
While we were eating our supper, I heard a good many people, and went out into the yard to find what was the matter. “Good evening, gentlemen,” I said. “Am glad to meet you, but would like to know what I have here that makes you laugh so much.” That made them laugh more. Finally one man spoke up, saying, “Where did you get that yellow mule from?” “I bought him,” I said, “over a month ago over near San Mateo.”
“That is my mule,” said Captain Whiting,1 “he was stolen from me in this town about that long ago.”
“Prove that,” said I, “and you can have the mule.” “Everybody knows my mule, what say ye people?” “Yes,” they all said laughing. So I had to give up the yellow mule.
Many times I had refused to sell or swap him off, but it was all right anyhow, he must have inspired me to bring him home.
by Stanley D. Stevens
* F. A. Hihn’s How I came to Santa Cruz is reported exactly as he wrote it. It is hoped that the following notes of explanation will also provide identification for those persons and places that he cites.
1 The fire occurred on May 4th and destroyed almost the entire city.
2 Edward S. Harrison’s History of Santa Cruz County, California. (San Francisco : Pacific Press Publishing Company, 1892, p. 266), includes Hihn’s portrait [used to illustrate this article] and his biographical sketch, in which it is noted that after leaving Sacramento in the winter of 1850-1851, Hihn “opened a drug store in San Francisco, on Washington Street, near Maguire’s Opera House.” [Maguire’s Jenny Lind Theatre, on the Portsmouth plaza.] Undoubtedly, Hihn provided the information which Harrison published.
3 Hutton & Co., auction and commission merchants, [office was at] 116 Sansome Street, corner of Clay Street (The San Francisco City Directory, by Charles P. Kimball. September 1, 1850. San Francisco: Journal of Commerce Press, 1850, p. 33.) At that time, Sansome Street was the third street from the water, two blocks east of Portsmouth Square and two blocks west of Front Street and the Central Wharf; today, with the Bay filled-in, it’s about six blocks from the World Trade Center on The Embarcadero. This area is called the Embarcadero/Financial district.
4 Dupont is Grant Avenue, in Chinatown. The alley was probably Merchant Street, which in 1851 was a one-block-long alley between Clay and Washington, Kearney and Montgomery streets. (Map of the burnt district of San Francisco, showing the extent of the fire. [by] S. J. Gower. San Francisco: n.p., 1851. [Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley: G4364 .S5 1851 G6 Case XB])
5 The fire was on June 22. (San Francisco Almanac by Gladys Hansen. Updated and revised edition. San Rafael : Presidio Press, 1980, p. 26.)
6 William H. Brown, trader, Washington, corner Pacific and Stockton. (The San Francisco City Directory, by Charles P. Kimball. September 1, 1850. San Francisco: Journal of Commerce Press, 1850, p. 18.)
7 Sacramento Soap Factory. (identity unknown)
8 Henry Hintch. Perhaps the same Henry Hentsch identified by the Pacific Sentinel (May 2, 1857, 1:5) as being a Director of the Pacific Immigration Aid Society, in San Francisco. (Unfortunately, I have been unable to identify Mrs. Hintch’s given name.)
9 Mission San Antonio (Mission San Antonio de Padua), is the third of twenty-one established in Spanish California by the Franciscan Order. It was founded on July 14, 1771, by Father Junipero Serra in the San Antonio Valley in Monterey County, near Jolon, southwest of King City.
10 Hihn was born on Aug. 16, 1829, in Altendorf, a suburb of Holzminden, Germany, now absorbed by Holzminden and unknown today by most local residents or to cartographers. The general pattern of immigration from Germany is reflected by the 1875 data from the Great Register of Voters for Santa Cruz County: of 2,439 names, 1,974 were of U.S. birth, 190 were from Ireland, 163 were German, about 7% (Santa Cruz Sentinel, July 31, 1875, 3:1)
11 This location was the Buri Buri Rancho of José Antonio Sánchez in the area now occupied by the City of Millbrae, California.
12 The Frenchman at the Sanchez adobe. (identity unknown)
13 Probably at the Eighteen-mile House. At Madrone Station, eighteen miles south of San Jose on the Monterey Road, D. Mallory ran the Eighteen-mile House (1870). There was a series of way-side hotels-watering spots between San Jose and Monterey, Seven-mile House (John Tennant), Twelve-mile House (Daniel Rota, Coyote Station), Fifteen-mile House (Perry’s Station), Eighteen-mile House (D. Mallory), Twenty-one-mile House (William Tennant). Just after the Twenty-one-mile House travellers had the option of going to Monterey via the Watsonville Road. (San Jose City Directory and business guide of Santa Clara Co. for the year commencing January 1, 1870.... Compiled by W. J. Colahan and Julian Pomeroy. San Francisco : Excelsior Press, Bacon & Company, Printers, 1870); (Historical Atlas Map of Santa Clara County, California. Compiled, drawn and published by Thompson & West, San Francisco, Cal., 1876.)
14 James McMahon’s General Merchandise Store (see Isaac L. Mylar’s Early days at the Mission San Juan Bautista p. 63); James McMahon was listed as a 35-year-old merchant from Ireland, coming to California from Pennsylvania (Census 1852).
15 “Patrick Breen (c. 1805-1868), born in Ireland, went to Canada and Iowa before making his way west with the Donner Party (1846), whose dreadful experiences he recorded in a diary he kept at Donner Lake. In 1848 he became the first
non-Spanish-speaking resident of San Juan Bautista.” (James D. Hart A companion to California. New York : Oxford U. Pr., 1978.) Hihn’s diary entry when he met Breen is Aug. 24, 1851. The Census of August, 1852, indicates that Patrick Breen was 62 years old, a farmer, born in Ireland, formerly a resident of Iowa. (If that age is recorded accurately, his birth year is ca. 1790.) There were twelve members of the Breen family recorded in the Census of 1852 (with ages): Patrick (62); Samuel (58); Margaret (45); John (19); Edward (18); Margaret (17); Patrick (15); Simon (12); James (10); Peter (8); Margaret (5); William (3).
16 Probably Adolphe Vache; (see Mylar, op cit p. 54)
17 Mariposa Store belonged to the Auzerais Bros. (or Auzerais & Pomeroy, Grocers) at 363-365 Market Street, San Jose. (Another partner of the Auzerais was Johann Edvard Knoche.) The San Jose City Directory 1870, lists Grocers: Auzerais Bros. (A La Mariposa); John Auzerais, (Auzerais Bros.) groceries, etc., 363 Market.
18 Las Pulgas Rancho (ranch of the fleas) is near Redwood City.
19 Holm (identity unknown).
20 Thomas Fisher’s 750-acre ranch was located in the Burnett Township, about thirteen miles south of San Jose on the old Monterey Road (El Camino Real), about one-and-a-half miles south of Coyote. (Historical Atlas Map of Santa Clara County, California. Compiled, drawn and published by Thompson & West, San Francisco, Cal., 1876. p. 61.)
21 Alberto Trescony, arrived in Monterey in 1844. (See W. W. Elliott’s Santa Cruz County — “lIlustrations Descriptive of ...” p. 30, for a brief biography, and Elliott’s illustration of Trescony’s residence, p. f 52.) He died in 1892 at age 80.
22 The Washington Hotel. (see Elliott & Moore’s History of Monterey County, 1881, p. 121.)
23 Joseph Boston (d. 1874) was associated with Edward Lawrence Williams, and later had a store at the Mission Plaza, Santa Cruz. Boston was also associated with Richard Kirby, Jones & Co., tannery, Santa Cruz.
24 Andrew Trust, a 27-year-old grocer (Census, Sept. 1852), from Germany; he was listed as a baker, in 1875 (L. L. Paulson’s Handbook and Directory of Santa Clara, San Benito, Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Mateo counties.... San Francisco: L. L. Paulson, 1875).
25 James Prewitt, spelled variously: the 1850 Poll List for Santa Cruz lists J. L. Prewett; the Sept. 1852 Census uses James Pruitt (a 27-year-old blacksmith from Alabama); the Poll List of Voters, Sept. 6, 1854, shows Jas. Pruett; the Great Register of Voters for Santa Cruz County (1866) has James Levy Prewett (a 42-year-old “Gentleman” living in Santa Cruz, from Alabama.)
26 Benjamin Allen Case arrived in Santa Cruz in January, 1848; he was from Connecticut; his wife, Mary Amney Case, from Vermont, started the first school in Santa Cruz about that time.
27 Fairchild. Probably William H. Fairchild - he arrived in Santa Cruz some time between 1847 and 1850; he was a teamster.
28 “Chaloupe” No Spanish translation has been identified for Hihn’s term.
29 “Captain Whiting”: after extensive research I have a tentative identification for this “Captain.” He is frequently identified as “Colonel” Whiting [perhaps Hihn misunderstood Whiting’s title (which possibly was an honorific title)].
Positive identification of Hihn’s first Santa Cruz legal skirmish is subject to the results of research yet to come, but the lack of another individual fitting the time and place provides a measure of confidence that “Captain Whiting” was B[illington C[rum or Crumb] Whiting. His (yet to be written) biography is extensive, but the highlights will provide some degree of his importance.
He came overland to California from Ithaca, New York. Enroute the party bought mules at Independence, Missouri, then encountered a heavy thunder storm which frightened all their mules off from camp — after finding all excepting twenty, they proceeded to Fort Bridger, Salt Lake, through the Mojave Desert to eastern Los Angeles county, arriving on November 25, 1849. Whiting, perhaps, had at least one mule after leaving the party. He went to Monterey, then to Santa Cruz. We find a record of him (aside from Hihn’s reference in 1851) in rather obscure documentation:
After the same disastrous San Francisco fire of June 22, 1851, the one that drove F. A. Hihn out of the City, Colonel B. C. Whiting was chairman of the organizing committee, and Vice-President of the Fourth of July Celebration for the City of San Francisco, which included: “Vice Presidents.— Thedore Payne, James King, of Wm., Col. B. C. Whiting, Judge Chambers, Hon. D. O. Shattuck, Col. J. B. Weller, Hon. John W. Geary, ....”
His future brother-in-law, Cornelius Cole (later a U.S. Senator from California), visited him frequently in Santa Cruz prior to “the spring of 1852” (Catherine Coffin Phillips Cornelius Cole : California Pioneer and United States Senator San Francisco: John Henry Nash, 1929, p. 57).
He is recorded in Santa Cruz County Deeds as early as December 1852, when Robinson J. Weeks sold six-and-a-half acres to B. C. Whiting for $350.
In 1854, Whiting testified in the suit Llebaria vs. Fallon (4th California District Court) that “a year ago last fruit season [July to Sept. 1852] ... [he had] seen Mr. Fallon’s teams hauling fruit [from the Mission Orchard] to the beach [to place aboard freighters] during the year 1852.”
On October 5, 1854, Whiting (an attorney) agreed to represent an indigent defendant and was appointed to do so by the Santa Cruz County Court of Sessions.
He was State Senator, representing the 3d Senatorial District comprised of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, in the Fifth and Sixth Sessions of the Legislature, January 2d - May 15, 1854; January 1st - May 7, 1855.
He was a candidate for State Attorney General on the Democratic ticket, being identified at the June 27, 1855, Democratic State Convention in Sacramento, as “B. C. Whiting, of Santa Cruz.” He was defeated when the “Know Nothings” swept the election of September 5, 1855. Wm. T. Wallace of Santa Clara won the post, 50,113 votes to B. C. Whiting’s 46,685. (Later, after Cornelius Cole founded the new Republican political party, Whiting was a Republican.)
In 1857-1858 Whiting and Cornelius Cole were partners in their Sacramento law firm.
In 1861 he was appointed United States District Attorney for the Southern District of California; also, he held the office of U.S. Commissioner for So. CA.
In 1867-68 he was (in San Francisco) the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, a federal appointment.
B. C. Whiting died in Los Angeles in 1881, at sixty-nine.