Part 1 Hale Ranch. Presented by Richard Johnson

Part 2 From Russian Hill to Los Altos Hills, the Catton House.

Presented by John Ralston
--Click here for a separate file

February 26, 2012

Historic Sites of Baja Los Altos Norte (Hale Ranch)
(bounded by San Antonio (Adobe) & Permanente Creeks)

1. Mesa homesite (Mesa Hill) ca. 1840

-Near El Monte and Summerhill, actual location uncertain. The location is off the southwest side of El Monte, between the Foothill Expressway and Summerhill. The site is said to be near the former stagecoach station (Moody to Prescadero). The location of various specific sites have been disputed.



2. Hale Ranch superintendent's house (Wright/Frampton) ca. 1889

- Magdalena Rd., demolished ca. 1990, now developed as Frampton Ct.
This historic three story tudor house, built in 1886, was demolished ca. 1990 to be replaced by a four-house development. The original, built by Hale was a simple four room house on mud sills, built for Thomas Wright, the ranch superintendant. An addition to the house was part of an upgrade for Josephine Boyle, Hale's daughter around 1900. Under numerious subseqent owners, the house was rebuilt and upgraded several times into a mansion even before 1950 when Mrs. Frampton bought the house.

3. Hale Ranch carriage house (Catton house-see John Ralston presentation-Part 2) ca. 1889

- Magdalena Rd., not visible from street. Modified by Ellis Catton in 1950s
.
4. Hale Ranch Tank house ca. 1905

- Top of Border Hill Dr. (behind Episcopal Church). Still there, but no tank.
- Example of tank house converted to residence.

Note: The Dawson house, located on the former Hale Ranch, would be a good topic for the future. Other nearby historic sites, not in Hale Ranch, would include The Stonebrook Court (Morgan Manor) as well as others existing on the north side of Adobe Creek.

 

 

 

 

Map of Santa Clara County Ranchos
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Juan Prado Mesa Receives Land Grant

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Sonora expedition in 1775 by de Anza brought 100 soldiers and 140 women and children north; they founded San Francisco Mission and Presidio in 1776. Among the soldiers was Cpl. Valereo Mesa, with his wife and 6 children.

In 1777, under Gen. Neve, 9 soldiers with families founded San Jose. Valereo Mesa's son also served in army.

By 1828, grandson Juan Prado Mesa served in the army, frequently fighting Indians.

In 1839 Cpl. Mesa and his troop were wounded in a battle. In 1844 Mesa helped organize and defend the S.F. Presidio.

In 1839 Gov. Alvarado awarded Alferez (Lt.) Juan Prado Mesa grant of one square league named Rancho San Antonio de Padua.

In 1840 Juan Prado Mesa and family built an adobe home on the upper northwestern corner of the Rancho.

Juan Prado Mesa died of previous wounds in 1845, his wife predeceasing him.

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Two of the Mesa sons married daughters of their neighbor, Juana Briones de Miranda.

The Mesa estate had significant debts and part of Rancho was sold at executor's sale. The going price was $.07 / acre.

Tribunals established by the U.S. Govt. after the Guadalupe Hildalgo treaty of 1848 established firm boundaries for the land.



 


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Who was Joseph.P. Hale?

He came from Ireland but lived in Mexico before coming to California.


He visited the Hale Ranch but never lived there; in fact he lived and subsequently died in San Francisco at the Occidental Hotel.

Hale had Irish relatives, Thomas & Ann Wright, whom he brought over from Ireland to managed the ranch as supervisor. They live in the Wright/Frampton house. Ann inherited part of Hale's estate.

Hale's legacy: the Hale Ranch Subdivision, the Hale Creek, and Magdalena Ave (named after Magdalena Bay in Baja, California, Mexico).

Timelines for Joseph Hale & Family

ca. 1836 ----- Joseph P. Hale born in Ireland (probably County Sligo)
ca 1859 ----- J.P. Hale marries Catarina in Mexico.
1860 (Dec. 25) ----- daughter Catarina Josephina Maria Hale is baptized in San Jose del Cabo, Baja, California.
1866 (Jan. 3) ----- daughter Anna born in Mexico


1869 ----- Hale buys 400 acres from Chase. He is merchant, living at 238 Taylor, SF.

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1870 ----- Hale, age 36; wife Catarina age 28; daughter Catherine age 9; and daughter Anna, age 4; are living in San Francisco at 406 Montgomery St. They have two domestic servants, one Mexican, one Irish. Hale is a dry goods merchant.

1873 ----- Hale is merchant; office at 212 Battery St.; dwelling at 314 Oak St., SF.

1876 ----- Wife Catherine (Catarina) dies at age 35.

1879 ----- Hale's office, 212 Battery St., SF; residence Magdalena Bay, Baja California
1880 (Jun.) ----- Hale (merchant) and two daughters are living on Montgomery St. (Occidental Hotel) as boarders.
1880 (Jul. 20) ----- Hale marries Anais A. (age 25) of New Orleans.
1881 ----- 2nd daughter Anita Mira Hale dies at age 15.
1883 (Aug. 16) ----- Hale is naturalized in San Francisco (U.S. Circuit Court).
1884 ----- Capitalist, President, Flores Hale & Co., Inc., 212 Battery St., SF.
1886 ----- Hale purchases additional 1450 acres from Chase.
1890 ----- Hale registers to vote in Santa Clara County. Residence is Mountain View. He is a capitalist.

1890 (Apr. 30) ----- Daughter Josephine marries Robert John Lascelles Boyle, son of Earl of Cork, Richard Edmond St. Lawrence Boyle and Lady Emily Charlotte de Burgh in St. Mary's Church (Catholic) in London

1893 ----- (Apr. 21) Joseph P. Hale dies at Occidental Hotel in San Francisco leaving a reported $2 million estate.

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1900 (Apr. 30) ----- Josephine and Robert Boyle living in Fremont Township (Wright House?), married 10 year, but with no children. One of two servants Is Michael J. Wright.

1906 (Mar. 22) ----- Probate of Estate of J.P. Hale decided in Superior Courtt., S.F.

1925 (Mar. 25) ----- Josephine (Hale's daughter) is "styled" as Countess of Cork. Her husband, Robert, is the 11th Earl of Corkrk.

1953 (Apr. 2) ----- Josephine Hale Boyle dies.

Timeline for Thomas C. Wright & Family

1847 (Feb.) ----- Thomas C. Wright is born in Ireland
1852 (Feb.) ----- Annie Feeney is born in Ireland
1873 ----- Thomas and Annie wed, probably in Ireland
1889 ----- Thomas, Annie, and 8 children immigrate to the U.S. Thomas is superintendent of the Hale San Antonio Rancho properties.
1893 ----- After Hale's death, Mrs. Ann Wright, "a relative" living in Mountain View receives inheritance (including 92 acres) from Halr's estate.
1900 ----- Thomas, Ann, and 7 children enumerated in census, living in Fremont Township. Son Michael working for Boyles.
1920 ----- Ann,age 68, widow, is living in Fremont Township with son Michael J., age 41 and daughter Sarah, age 36.

--- When Hale immigrated, other Hale relatives also immigrated. Later, some were involved in his affairs, some were disinherited, etc. While Hale's children had no children, there could well be descendants here today from the brothers and sisters.
---- The Wrights did have descendants; William Wright, a son, became mayor of Mountain View, and several Wrights were in the real estate business, sometimes selling off remaining portions of the Hale Ranch estate.
---- After Hale died, many of these immediate relatives and descendants bickered over the estate, resulting in several interesting court battles.

Probating the Hales

---- First, one has to reexamine Hale's life and fill in details using newspapers of the day, city directories, court probate papers, and technical/commercial publications of the late 1800s. The court and technical documents yield a much more complex story for J.P. Hale.
---- The first court cases in 1896 involved disagreement over whether annuities to family or mortgages and other debts took precedence. The lower court ruled there was enough for both. The California Supreme Court overturned the finding and said the debtors came first.
The second court case, decided in 1906, was a much more complicated analysis of Hale's business and assets; it was about whether the assets were separate property or community property, and whether laws of Mexico sometimes applied.

This doesn't pertain to LAH, but it great fun to follow and understand Hale's complete life.

--- ca. 1836 Joseph P. Hale born in Ireland (probably County Sligo)
--- ca. 1852 Hale is mining silver in San Antonio, Baja, California. Did he come at age 16, or did he he come with family, possibly fleeing the Irish famine and perhaps chasing the gold rush?? Many miners stopped on the way to Calif., many came back to Baja for greater opportunity. Many mining businesses were started in San Francisco for operations in Mexico. San Antonio (just below LaPaz) was a silver town in 1852.
--- ca 1859 J.P. Hale marries Catarina in Mexico. A few historians suggest Catharina's parents were wealthy and influential. No known evidence for this.
--- 1860 (Dec. 25) daughter Catarina Josephina Maria Hale is baptized in San Jose del Cabo, Baja, California.
--- 1861 -1867 French Intervention in Mexico. To great extent, the war bypassed Baja, leaving the local government greater freedom (to make deals).
--- 1866 (Jan. 3) daughter Anna born in Mexico.

--- ca. 1865-68 Hale speculates in several businesses, some of which involve San Francisco. Hale visits San Francisco to make deals, borrow money, etc.
--- 1869 Hale purchases 400 acres of Rancho San Antonio from Chase.
--- 1871 California Colonization Co., under Gen. B.F. Buter, arrived in Magdalena Bay to take possession of 175 leagues of land near the bay for which they had paid the (previous) Mexican government $175,000 dollars. The Mexican government revoked the deal and the colonists fled. The strong suggestion is that Hale had a finger in this.
--- 1873 Hale is merchant; office at 212 Battery St.; dwelling at 314 Oak St., SF. ca. 1873 Hale forms a business association with Constanso Flores, aka Flores Hales Inc. to harvest orchilla Baja Sur. Others attempted to take the land but Flores Hale & Co., supported by the government, were in possession and actively harvesting orchilla, which was dried, baled and shipped to Liverpool England via Panama or San Francisco. Santiago (James) Hale is the on-site manager for Flores Hale. The plant is dried, baled, and shipped to Liverpool, England via Panama or San Francisco.
--- 1876 Wife Catherine (Catarina) dies at age 35.
--- 1879 Hale's office, 212 Battery St., SF; residence Magdalena Bay, Baja California
--- 1880 (Jun.) Hale (merchant) and two daughters are living on Montgomery St. (Occidental Hotel) as boarders.
--- 1880 (Jul. 20) Hale marries Anais A. (age 25) of New Orleans.

--- 1881 2nd daughter Anita Mira Hale dies at age 15.
--- 1883 Mar 31 General Pacheco, acting for the Mexican government and J. Conrado Flores, for himself and on behalf of James C. Hale & Co., acting for Joseph P. Hale, shall measure and demark public lands of territory of Lower California between parallel of 23 ½ degrees and 29 degrees latitude north in a zone six leagues width counted from the high tide mark. In consideration they would receive 1/3 of such lands ... and also the remaining 2/3 of surveyed land to be applied lands to colonization at the price fixed by tariff. In total, Hale had numerous grants of land made in 1877, 1878, 1882, and several main grants in 1884.
--- 1883 Aug. 16 Hale is naturalized in San Francisco (U.S. Circuit Court).
--- 1884 Capitalist, President, Flores Hale & Co., Inc., 212 Battery St., SF.
--- 1886 Hale purchases remaining 1450 acres from Chase.
--- 1890 Hale buys the Califonia Supreme Court Bldg. at Larkin and McAlister.
--- 1890 Hale registers to vote in Santa Clara County. Residence is Mountain View. He is a capitalist.
--- 1893 Hale dies in San Francisco Occidental Hotel.

Map of Oceano Pacific

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-Who was Joseph P. Hale?

"The quid nuncs " [nobodies] "say the Mr. Flores is a mythical creature ... but he is popularly supposed to spend his time at the Mexican capital looking after the company's interests with the Government. J.B. "(sic) "Hale is an Irishman, now a millionare twenty times over - a mild eyed, thick-set and very gallant gentleman, just turned to the shady side of middle age, and of so retiring a disposition that newspaper items have to be fairly wrung out of him by main force. He has an elegant house in San Francisco " [ ?? ] "and has been in business on this peninsula for more than a quarter of a century - first silver mining in San Antonio, and for the last 15 years busily engaged in gathering orchilla, and his millions, in the vicinity of Magdalena Bay."

Fannie B. Ward, "The Plantation Monthly" Aug. 1889 p. 377
(note: also published in many other publications. Ward was a travelling biological journalist who frequented central America.)

Part 2 From Russian Hill to Los Altos Hills, the Catton House.

Presented by John Ralston
--Click here for a separate file

 

 


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