Tomas Avila Sanchez (1826–1882), soldier, sheriff and public official, was on the Los Angeles County, California, Board of Supervisors and was a member of the Los Angeles Common Council, the legislative branch of the city.
Sanchez was baptized José Tomas Tadeo Sanchez y Avila as the son of Pedro Antonio Jose Sanchez (1806–1837) and Maria Ascension Josefa Avila (1809–1847). His grandfather, Vicente Anastacio Sanchez (1785–1846), was mayor of Los Angeles in 1831–1832 and 1845 and the grantee of Rancho La Cienega o Paso de la Tijera.
In 1867, Sanchez married Maria Sepulveda (daughter of Fernando Sepulveda and Maria Josefa Dominguez) and lived in an adobe home Casa Adobe De San Rafael on Rancho San Rafael.
He died at the age of 56 in 1882, leaving his wife, nineteen sons and two daughters.
Sanchez was the tax collector for Los Angeles in 1843, during the period of Mexican government of California. He served as a soldier in the Mexican forces during the Mexican–American War, in which he was a lancer in the Battle of San Pasqual.Sanchez remained in the area after the war and remained active in politics under the new California government as a Democrat.
Los Angeles pioneer historian Harris Newmark recalled in his Sixty Years in Southern California that Sanchez was one of the "prominent Mexican politicians" who made "flowery stump speeches" to a group of "docile though illegal voters, most of whom were Indians," who had been literally corraled by backers of Thomas H. Workman who was running for county clerk and who swung them over to vote for the Democratic candidate instead of for Workman. "These were the methods then in vogue," Newmark wrote.
Sanchez's Los Angeles County biography states that in the 1850s Sanchez "was a staunch Democrat and strongly favored" the Confederacy.
Sanchez was elected to a one-year term on the Los Angeles Common Council, the legislative branch of the city, on May 5, 1851, serving in the at-large post until May 4, 1852. It was the second election for municipal officers after the reorganization of the city following the Mexican War.
During the insurrection of Juan Flores after the murder of Los Angeles County Sheriff James R. Barton in January 1857, Sanchez, who had a reputation for "physical courage and prowess"took the lead in the pursuit and capture of the Flores gang. His stand against the bandits gained him political support from the recently arrived American settlers that resulted in his election to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in 1857, 1858 and 1859.
In 1860, Sanchez was elected the ninth sheriff of Los Angeles County since the county was organized in 1850;he was the first sheriff to have been born in the county. He became a founding member and lieutenant in the Los Angeles Mounted Rifles in March 1861. Sanchez, "the primary law enforcement agent in a lawless land," used his position as sheriff to help equip the company, but when Secessionist members of the organization absconded for Texas with the company's rifles in June 1861, he remained behind in office. Despite the suspicion of him by Federal officials during the American Civil War, he remained in office until 1867.
On December 9, 1863, Sanchez was taking a man who had been convicted of murder to the vessel Senator, lying off the Wilmington, California, harbor when a group of vigilantes seized the prisoner and lynched him, throwing his body overboard weighted with rocks they had brought with them.The result was a gunfight at the Bella Union Hotel in which two men were killed and a bystander was wounded.
The Sanchez family is remembered in their adobe home in the western foothills of the Verdugo Mountains, a landmark now owned and maintained by the city of Glendale, California. After Tomas died in 1882, his wife, Maria Sepulveda, sold 100 acres, including the structure, to Andrew Glassel for $12,000, and then moved to the Los Angeles Plaza neighborhood. The City of Glendale bought the historic structure in 1932, giving it the address of 1330 Dorothy Drive.
Sanchez inherited Rancho La Cienega o Paso de la Tijera from his grandfather in 1846. After the death of Tomas, "a patent was granted his estate for four thousand or more acres" at Rancho Cienega y Paso de la Tijera.In 1970, the boundaries of the rancho were described in then-modern terms as "Exposition Blvd. to Slauson Ave. and from La Cienega east to 1st Ave., then a jog back to 4th Ave., midway between Slauson and Exposition. The land was mostly marshy meadows (ciénega is the Spanish word for marsh) and rolling hills and very fertile."
Gold Dust and Gunsmoke: Tales of Gold Rush Outlaws, Gunfighters, Lawmen, and Vigilantes (1999) by John Boessenecker
The Ávila Adobe, built in 1818 by Francisco Ávila, is the oldest standing residence in City of Los Angeles, California. However, the oldest building in the county is the 1795 Gage Mansion in Bell Gardens, currently considered the oldest structure in Los Angeles County. Avila Adobe is located in the paseo of historical Olvera Street, a part of Los Angeles Plaza Historic District, a California State Historic Park. The building itself is registered as California Historical Landmark #145, while the entire historic district is both listed on the National Register of Historic Places and as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.
Eulalia Pérez de Guillén Mariné was a Californio who was mayordoma of Mission San Gabriel Arcángel and grantee of Rancho del Rincón de San Pascual in the San Rafael Hills, in present-day Los Angeles County, California. She claimed to have been born in 1766, if so making her 112 years old at the time of her death in 1878, but her case has not been verified or fully proven.
Rancho San Pascual also known as Rancho el Rincón de San Pascual was a 14,403-acre (58.29 km2) Mexican land grant in present-day Los Angeles County, California given to Juan Marine in 1834 by José Figueroa. Rancho San Pascual land now includes the cities of Pasadena, South Pasadena, and portions of San Marino, and the unincorporated communities of Altadena and San Pasqual.
Rancho La Ballona was a 13,920-acre (56.3 km2) Mexican land grant in the present-day Westside region of Los Angeles County, southern California.
Rancho San Rafael was a 36,403-acre (147.32 km2) Spanish land grant in the San Rafael Hills, bordering the Los Angeles River and the Arroyo Seco in present-day Los Angeles County, southern California, given in 1784 to Jose Maria Verdugo.
The Baldwin Hills are a low mountain range surrounded by and rising above the Los Angeles Basin plain in central Los Angeles County, California. The Pacific Ocean is to the west, the Santa Monica Mountains to the north, Downtown Los Angeles to the northeast, and the Palos Verdes Hills to the south - with all easily viewed from the Baldwin Hills.
Rancho Rincón de los Bueyes was a 3,127-acre (12.65 km2) land grant in present-day Los Angeles County, California given in 1821 to Bernardo Higuera and Cornelio Lopez by Pablo Vicente de Sola, the Spanish Governor of Alta California. In 1843, this Spanish grant was confirmed by Mexican Governor Manuel Micheltorena. Rincón, translated from Spanish, means corner or nook, and Bueyes are oxen or steer.
Rancho Santa Gertrudes was a 21,298-acre (86.19 km2) 1834 Mexican land grant, in present-day Los Angeles County, California, resulting from a partition of Rancho Los Nietos. A former site of Nacaugna, the rancho lands included the present-day cities of Downey and Santa Fe Springs.
Rancho Sausal Redondo was a 22,458-acre (91 km2) Mexican land grant in present day Los Angeles County, California given in 1837 to Antonio Ygnacio Avila by Juan Alvarado Governor of Alta California. Rancho Sausal Redondo covered the area that now includes Playa Del Rey, El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Lawndale, Hermosa Beach, Inglewood, Hawthorne, and Redondo Beach.
José María Verdugo was a soldier from the Presidio of San Diego who was assigned to the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel at the time his land was granted by the Spanish Empire in 1784.
The Ávila family was a prominent Californio family of Southern California, founded by Cornelio Ávila in the 1780's. Numerous members of the family held important rancho grants and political positions, including two Alcaldes of Los Angeles.
Rancho La Cienega o Paso de la Tijera was a 4,219-acre (17.07 km2) Mexican land grant in present day Los Angeles County, California given in 1843 by Governor Manuel Micheltorena to Vicente Sánchez. "La Cienega" is derived from the Spanish word cienaga, which means swamp or marshland and refers to the natural springs and wetlands in the area between Beverly Hills and Park La Brea and the Baldwin Hills range.
Rancho Las Cienegas was a 4,439-acre (17.96 km2) Mexican land grant in present-day Los Angeles County, California given in 1823 to Francisco Avila by Governor Luis Antonio Argüello. "La Cienega" is derived from the Spanish word cienaga, which means swamp or marshland and refers to the natural springs and wetlands in the area between the Baldwin Hills range and Baldwin Hills district, and Beverly Hills. The rancho was north of Rancho La Cienega o Paso de la Tijera and east of present-day La Cienega Boulevard between Wilshire Boulevard and Jefferson Boulevard. The Los Angeles River would periodically change course historically, and flowed through the rancho's lowlands to Ballona Creek and the Santa Monica Bay until 1825, when it returned to the flowing through Rancho San Pedro to San Pedro Bay.
Rancho Monserate was a 13,323-acre (53.92 km2) Mexican land grant in present day San Diego County, California given in 1846 by Governor Pío Pico to Ysidro María Alvarado. The grant extended south and east of the present day Fallbrook down to the San Luis Rey River. The grant was bounded on the west by Pico's Rancho Santa Margarita y Las Flores.
Rancho Boca de la Playa was a 6,607-acre (26.74 km2) Mexican land grant in present-day Orange County, California given in 1846 by Governor Pío Pico to Emigdio Vejar. The name refers to the wetlands estuary at the 'mouth of the beach,' or 'boca de la playa' in Spanish. This is the most southerly grant in Orange County, and extended along the Pacific coast from San Juan Creek in the south of present-day San Juan Capistrano south to San Clemente.
Flores Daniel Gang, was an outlaw gang also known as "las Manillas", throughout Southern California during 1856-1857. Californio's Juan Flores and Pancho Daniel. Contemporary newspaper accounts of las Manillas all reported that the leader of las Manillas was originally Pancho Daniel, but that Juan Flores assumed the leadership role after Daniel was injured in the Barton ambush. According to the account of Harris Newmark, Flores had been sent to prison for horse-stealing and was just another member of the gang.
Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw is a neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles within the south region of the city. It is divided between the upscale, principally home-owning Baldwin Hills residential district to the south and a more concentrated apartment area to the north, just south of Jefferson Boulevard. A commercial corridor along Crenshaw Boulevard has the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, Marlton Square and Crenshaw Boulevard restaurants.
Casa Adobe de San Rafael is one of the oldest homes in Glendale, California. The home has been in continuous use since its founding in 1865. It was designated a California Historic Landmark on Oct. 31, 1935.
Jose Dolores Sepulveda Adobe is an adobe home built in 1818. It is located at the Rancho de los Palos Verdes in Torrance, California. The Jose Dolores Sepulveda Adobe was designated a California Historic Landmark on Jan. 03, 1944. The Jose Dolores Sepulveda Adobe was built by José Dolores Sepúlveda, his son was Mayor of Los Angeles from 1837 to 1848. José Dolores Sepúlveda’s father was José Loreto Sepúlveda (1764–1808). The location is now a private residence in Torrance. The original Adobe is gone, but current homeowner renovated the house to reflect the Rancho history. Rancho de los Palos Verdes means "range of green trees". The Rancho is now the present-day cities of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, as well as portions of San Pedro and Torrance.
The Sepúlveda family is a prominent Californio family of Southern California. Members of the family held extensive rancho grants and numerous important positions, including Alcalde of Los Angeles, California State Assemblymen, and Los Angeles County Supervisor.