Thornhill Francis Broome

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Thornhill Francis Broome
ThornhillFrancisBroomephoto.jpg
Born10 August 1878 [1]
DiedFebruary 21, 1946 (Age: 67)
Spouse(s)Caryl Russell Spoor
Children3

Thornhill Francis Broome (born in Santa Barbara, California August 10, 1878 [1] – February 21, 1946) was a businessman and ranch owner in southern California, as evidenced in his ownership of the land that once belonged to his father. In addition to being a ranch owner, his business contributions are evidenced through Broome being the president of multiple companies in Illinois. His father was William Richard Broome, an English gentleman of leisure who came to Santa Barbara, California from England to find better weather for his health. [2] [3] His mother was Lady Frances Broome, an Englishwoman whose eccentricities often kept her in the public eye. [4]

Santa Barbara, California City in California, United States

Santa Barbara is a coastal city in and the county seat of Santa Barbara County in the U.S. state of California. Situated on a south-facing section of coastline, the longest such section on the West Coast of the United States, the city lies between the steeply rising Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Santa Barbara's climate is often described as Mediterranean, and the city has been promoted as the "American Riviera". As of 2014, the city had an estimated population of 91,196, up from 88,410 in 2010, making it the second most populous city in the county after Santa Maria. The contiguous urban area, which includes the cities of Goleta and Carpinteria, along with the unincorporated regions of Isla Vista, Montecito, Mission Canyon, Hope Ranch, Summerland, and others, has an approximate population of 220,000. The population of the entire county in 2010 was 423,895.

Contents

In 1871, William Richard Broome purchased part of the Rancho Guadalasca Mexican land grant. Lady Frances Broome's defiance of American courts and institutions resulted in the loss of a large amount of her property, which was left to her by her late husband. [4] Thornhill went to England as a young man to further his education. He achieved a degree, and was highly educated in law. While he was in England he served in the military and fought in South Africa in the Boer War representing England. He did not serve in the military for the United States. [5]

Rancho Guadalasca

Rancho Guadalasca was a 30,594-acre (123.81 km2) Mexican land grant in present-day Ventura County, California given in 1836 by Governor Mariano Chico to Ysabel Yorba. The grant was in the southern part of the county, bordering on Los Angeles County. The grant extended along the Pacific coast near Point Mugu for about eight miles, and extending into the interior along Guadalasca Creek in the Santa Monica Mountains for about ten miles.

Thornhill Broome married Caryl Russell Spoor, born in Cook, Illinois, on 24 February 1892 [1] in 1914. [6] [7] "The Spoor family lived in Chicago, Illinois and at that time it was not unusual for Chicagoans to summer in Santa Barbara to get out of the heat. Thornhill Broome lived in Santa Barbara and was a handsome educated young man and they met at a social function in the summer." [2] Thornhill's father-in-law, John A. Spoor, was a railroad and banking giant. [8] Thornhill and Caryl married and lived in Santa Barbara for their first years of marriage. They later moved to Chicago, Illinois, to raise their three children. [2] Caryl Spoor was granted a divorce from Thornhill Broome in 1945. [9]

Thornhill Broome was the president of the Midland Warehouses, Inc., Chicago Junction Terminal Building Co., Central Steam Laundry Co., Chicago Linen Supply Co., and Milwaukee Linen Supply Co. Thornhill had diabetes and lived with its complications through much of his adult life. Thornhill Francis Broome died on February 21, 1946 from a heart attack in Chicago. [5] [10]

Land history

William Richard Broome was the owner of the southern portion of the historic Spanish land grant Rancho Guadalasca in Ventura County, which lay from Pitcher Slough to and beyond Sycamore Canyon with minor property breaks. [11] [12] The project area was part of Rancho Guadalasca, a 30,594 acre land grant. Archival information indicates that the land grant was vacant and uncultivated when Ysabel Yorba filed for ownership of the land in 1836. Yorba was born in San Diego in 1789 and married Joseph Maitorena in 1805 at Mission San Diego. She was the daughter of Antonio Yorba from Spain. Her husband was a lieutenant stationed at the Santa Barbara Presidio, and before the couple filed for ownership of the land, Maitorena died. It wasn't until 1861 that the land grant was officially conferred to Yorba. By 1871, over half of the acreage comprising the original rancho (23,000) was purchased by William Richard Broome, comprising the southern extent of the rancho. [13] Thornhill was made special administrator of the 22,000 acres estate near Ventura after his Mother Lady Francis Broome was removed by the court after not making an accounting of the state for eighteen years. Mrs. Broome lost much of her property because of her refusal to be amenable to the American laws. [14] Thornhill also sought an order for the sale of his Mother's perishable property. [15] He purchased the land in 1871, and upon his death the land was transferred to William Richard Broome's wife, Lady Frances Broome.

In 1910, Thornhill gained control of the land after a decade long legal battle with his mother. Thornhill contended that ownership of the land should be passed down and distributed amongst himself and his siblings Montague Watson Broome and Amy Lillian Broome. These appeals found their way to the Superior Courts of California where the courts had to consider a number of questions. "(1) whether the court had jurisdiction to hear and determine the cause, appellant contending in this behalf that neither the complaint nor the lis pendens adequately described the property; (2) whether the trial court erred in finding that the services rendered by plaintiff's counsel were for the common benefit of all the parties to the action; (3) whether the decree of partial distribution entered in the estate of William Francis Broome, deceased, whereunder the plaintiff and the nonappealing defendants, Montague Watson Broome and Amy Lillian Broome, claim as tenants in common an interest in the land subjected to partition can be availed of as muniment of title; and, finally, (4) whether the court erred in failing to find upon the issue that the action was prematurely instituted presented by an allegation of the answer to the effect that the partial decree of distribution of the estate of the testator to the parties to the action had not become final before the date of the filing of the complaint in the action." [16] On November 29 in 1910, Thornhill Francis Broome, filed in the estate of William Richard Broome, deceased, his petition for a partial distribution and in 1909 on August 4, the defendant Frances Broome had jointly with the defendants Montague Watson Broome and Amy Lillian Broome, filed a petition for the partial distribution of the estate as well. The petitions of the defendant were denied because there was "no provision in the last will and testament of the said deceased for distribution to said defendants save in a manner prohibited by law." Early in 1911 Thornhill Francis, Frances, Montague, and Amy Broome resubmitted a joint stipulation and on June 30, 1911 it was ruled that the plaintiff Thornhill Francis Broome and the defendants Montague Watson Broome and Amy Lillian Broome were entitled to partial distribution of the property. Lady Frances Broome was denied access except to those properties specifically bequeathed to her in her husband's will. She would soon after claim fraud and that "relying upon the terms of said stipulation she was imposed upon and misled to the extent that she did not take or prosecute any appeal from said decree of partial distribution." [17] It was determined that there was not enough evidence which "neither singly nor collectively sufficed" to make a satisfactory case for the showing of fraud. Upon Thornhill Francis Broome's death, the land transferred ownership to his son, John Spoor Broome.

The northern portion of the land grant, Rancho Guadalsca, was purchased by Joseph F. Lewis in 1906. This northern portion of the land later became the site of the Camarillo State Mental Hospital. In 2004, the land was re-purposed to become the California State University, Channel Islands for which the library is called the Broome Library. The library's namesake is attributed to his son, John Spoor Broome, who donated money in 1999 to build it. The library opened in April 2004.

Career

Thornhill was the president of the Midland Warehouses, Inc., Chicago Junction Terminal Building Co., Central Steam Laundry Co., Chicago Linen Supply Co., and Milwaukee Linen Supply Co. Broome was the head of an L.A. Syndicate, which opened a Union Stock Yard in Los Angeles on Oct. 15 of 1922. It also dealt in development and manufacturing of railways. [18] Broome also served as a director of Peoples National Bank and Trust Company of Chicago. [11]

Family

When William Richard Broome died, he gave his son, Thornhill Francis Broome, the land. Despite this fact, as previously mentioned, a legal battle occurred in which Thornhill's mother tried to gain control of the land. Thornhill had three children of his own and eventually the land was passed on to his eldest son John Spoor Broome. John Spoor Broome believed in doing something significant for the Cal State University Channel Islands. In 1999 John Spoor Broome funded the initial $5 million to build the CSU Channel Islands Library. The Spoor family, his mother's side from Chicago, had been very involved in libraries there and so John S. Broome felt a great affinity with the idea of a new library. He was also quite fond of the architecture style represented by Norman Foster and was thrilled when Foster agreed to design the Library. [5]

Thornhill Broome Beach

Entrance to Thornhill Broome Campground Thornhill Broome Campground entrance 2016-08-29.jpg
Entrance to Thornhill Broome Campground

The beach that is now known as Thornhill Broome Beach was acquired by the State of California in 1966. It was owned by John Spoor Broome in partnership with his two sisters, Betty and Carol. It was part of the Point Mugu State Park eminent domain acquisition. The State of California initially named the beach La Jolla State Beach after the La Jolla Valley which is just to the north of the beach area. John Spoor Broome worked diligently with State Senator Ed Davis to rename the beach in honor of his father Thornhill Broome. Senator Davis saw Thornhill's passion and respected John's desire to have something honoring Thornhill and dedicated the beach in his name around 1990. [2]

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References

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  4. 1 2 Court ousts Lady Broome. (1909, March 31). The New York Times Archives. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/1909/03/31/archives/court-ousts-lady-broome-hadnt-made-an-accounting-of-husbands-estate.html
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  13. 4.4 Cultural Resources. (1909, April 3). 2009 Facilities Projects Supplemental EIR. Retrieved from http://google.calstate.edu/search?access=p&site=csuci&output=xml_no_dtd&client=csuci-edu&sort=date:D:L:d1&proxystylesheet=csuci-edu&oe=UTF-8&q=cultural+recources+2009
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