1956: California Dons – Recollections of Life in a Mission Town Over a Century Ago

California Dons, by Ralph LeRoy Milliken, describes life on Rancho Santa Ana. It was first published by Academy Library Guild in 1956 and republished in 1976 by Valley Publishers in Fresno. It is now out of print. For used copies, visit http://www.alibris.com

From the book’s jacket:

“Here is life in the mission towns and on the vast Mexican land grants in California a hundred years ago. The pattern of living develops around the protagonist, Estolano, as he grew from boyhood to early manhood. These were days when boys made pets of grizzly bears and girls rode to church in ox carts.”

“This book, although fiction, is based on the life of Señor Don Estolano Larios who was born on the Santa Ana Ranch near Mission San Juan Bautista. He was a member of one of the area’s earliest families.”

“In his later years Señor Larios [b. 1855] visited the author, who is a generation younger, in Los Banos. He planned a two-week visit, but remained three and a half years. His personal recollections covered several hundred typewritten pages.”

Milliken Museum
P.O. Box 2294
Los Banos, CA 93635



Published in: on January 1, 1956 at 7:03 pm  Comments (2)  

1867-08-26: Recording of Sale of Minor Heirs’ shares of Rancho Santa Ana y Quien Sabe to Bolado & Arques

Monday, August 26, 1867 – Joaquin Bolado was granted from minor heirs Patrocinio Larios, Estolano Larios by Frederick A. MacDougall guardian of estate for Manuel Larios; to Joaquin Bolado & Arques.

Book F. p. 637 – July 9, 1867

[See also a transaction dated 9/21/1867]

Probate court made an order of sale August 8th 1867 at 10am

It was recorded in Book A of Miscellaneous Records, pages 124;

Auction took place 8/9/67 in front of Plaza Hotel; etc.

Arques bid $2,233.33 for 1/3rd

Bolado bid $4,466.67 for 2/3rd

each minor owned an undivided portion of the combined Rancho Santa Ana y Quien Sabe equal to 2,047 acres.

Recorded at the request of José Abrego, Joaquin Bolado’s father-in-law.

libr F p. 637

1867-08-09: Joaquin Bolado & José G. Arques buy Manuel Salvador Larios’ Minor Heirs’ Shares in Rancho Santa Ana y Quien Sabe

Friday, August 9, 1867 – Manuel Salvador Larios’ minor heirs’ (Estolano & Patrocinio Larios) portion was sold to Joaquin Bolado and José G. Arques at 12:16 in front of the Plaza Hotel in San Juan Bautista.

Guardian Frederick A. MacDougall sold at public auction to the highest bidder for cash U.S. gold coin; each minors’ share of 2047 acres.

At such sale Joaquin Bolado and Jose G. Arques became the purchasers of the interests of each for $3350 for the interest of each of them amounting in the aggregate $6700 in US Gold coin to be paid on confirmation of said sale by said court; Bolado 2/3rds, Arques 1/3 owners.

v.1 p.146.

Source also: East of the Gabilans, p. 121.

1867-07-19: Public posting of proposed sale of minor Larios heirs’ share in Rancho

Friday, July 19, 1867 – Public posting of proposed sale of minor Larios heirs' share in Rancho by MacDougall and others

v.1 p. 144

1867-07-16: Frederick A. MacDougall is appointed guardian of Patrocinio and Estolano Larios

Tuesday, July 16, 1867 – Frederick A. MacDougall is appointed guardian of Patrocinio Larios (age 17) and Estolano Larios.

v.1 p. 124

1867-07-09: Guardian Frederick A. MacDougall Given Permission to Sell Rancho Shares for Minors Patrocinio and Estolano Larios

Tuesday, July 9, 1867 – Order allowing guardian Frederick A. MacDougall public or private sale of Rancho shares for Patrocinio and Estolano Larios

v.1 p.139

1867-05-26: Manuel Salvador Larios’ Estate: Larios estate: For Patrocinio and Estolano Larios, Frederick A. MacDougall Petitions to sell Minors’ Shares in the Rancho

Sunday, May 26, 1867 – Larios estate: For Patrocinio and Estolano Larios, Frederick A. MacDougall petitions to sell their shares in the Rancho to pay their debts and provide for their education, maintenance, and futures.

1867-05-25: Larios estate: Inventory of Minors Patrocinio and Estolano Larios’ estates

Saturday, May 25, 1867 – Larios estate: Inventory of minors Patrocinio and Estolano Larios' estates: each was entitled to undivided interest equal to 2047.17 acres in Rancho Santa Ana y Quien Sabe of Manuel Salvador Larios's 1/2 of 48,822.60 acres.

Description of borders and Patent in Book A of Patents from pp 55 to 62.

v1. p.125

For each minor, appraised at $1.00/acre

v.1 p.127

1867-04-24: Larios Estate Order of Distribution: Of 5/6ths of Rancho Santa Ana, 8/10ths of Real Estate 2/3 to Bolado, 1/3 to Arques.

Wednesday, April 24, 1867 – Manuel Salvador Larios estate: Order setting decree of distribution; 5/6ths of Rancho Santa Ana; valued at $20,000; improvements worth $500; 8/10ths of Real Estate in shares to Joaquin Bolado 2/3rds, to José G. Arques 1/3rd; (v.1 p. 106); as tenants in common.

D.S. Gregory attorney appointed Guardian ad litem for Estolano Larios.



Q: Is anyone able to share information about Durrell Stokes Gregory?

A: Born June 14, 1825 Mecklenburg, Virginia. Died June 12, 1889 in San Luis Obispo, California. Married Margarita Amelia Angelina Hartnell August 29, 1876. Their three sons were all born in Salinas. D.S. Gregory was an attorney, shared ownership in several businesses, and was a partner with Judge Watson in starting the town of Watsonville.

1867-03-13: Manuel Salvador Larios Estate: Final Account & Petition for Distribution Filed

Wednesday, March 13, 1867 – Manuel Salvador Larios estate: Final account and petition for distribution filed;

  • Maria Rosario Armas de Larios
  • Jose Maria Larios
  • Manuel L. Larios Jr.
  • Gracia Larios
  • (José) Antonio Larios
  • (Jose) Dolores Larios
  • Martina Larios de Soto, (wife of) Deogracio Soto
  • Guadelupe Larios de Quiñones, (wife of) Reyes Quiñones
  • Minor Patrocinio Larios (age 16) has Frederick A. MacDougall as guardian (since both his mother and now father are dead)
  • Minor Estolano Larios 10 who has no guardian

The non-minors have already conveyed (sold) their shares to Joaquin Bolado and Jose G. Arques; the will should be distributed as folllows; to Bolado and Arques 8 undivided 10th parts.

For Patrocinio Larios 1 undivided 10th part;

To Estolano Larios 1 undivided 10th part.

v. 1 p. 95

1866-01-09: Manuel Salvador Larios Estate Petition Filed by Maria del Rosaria Armas de Larios

Tuesday, January 9, 1866 – Manuel Larios estate; petition filed by his 3rd wife and Executrix Maria del Rosaria Armas de Larios, 54.

Manuel Larios died 12/11/1865 at 64.

His children with Maria Antonia de Jesus Pacheco:

  • José Maria Larios 41 (b. ~1823-1824)
  • Manuel L. Larios Jr., 37 (b. ~1828) (of Contra Costa County)
  • (Juliana) Martina Larios de Soto, 35 (b. ~1830) (Married to Deo Gracia Soto)
  • Gracia (de las Mercedes) Larios, 31 (male, b. ~1834)
  • (José) Antonio Larios, 30 (b. ~1835)
  • (Maria) Guadelupe Larios de Quiñones, 26, (b. ~1839) (a.k.a Lupe) wife of Reyes Quiñones (later married to Luciano Salas from Sonora, Mexico)
  • (José) Dolores Larios, 22 (b. ~1843)
  • Patrocinio Larios, 16 (b. ~1849)

His child with Maria del Rosaria Armas de Larios:

  • Estolano Larios, 10 (b. May 26, 1855)

…all from Monterey County.

v. 1 p. 81

See also: http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/AF/family_group_record.asp?familyid=8534097&frompage=99

See also: http://fp1.centurytel.net/Warren_Genealogy/Larios.htm

NOTE:  Ages above recorded at date of the death of Manuel Salvador Larios. Birth years estimated from ages and other genealogical sources.  Names in parentheses are either not the names recorded on this document, or those not commonly used (as in the case of the two younger Josés). For a fictional story based on the true-life recollections of Estolano Larios and his family, read "California Dons" by Ralph LeRoy Milliken, Valley Publishers, Fresno, CA, c. 1956, 1967.