Joaquin Bolado: 1822-1894 – An 1893 Profile

Joaquin BoladoAmong the representative men of San Benito County, the subject of this sketch ranks as one of the most prominent. He was born in Santander, Spain, one of the provinces of Castilla la Vieja, or Old Castile, on March 3, 1822, son of Valentin and Antonia Bolado.

[Link to an 1870’s photo of Joaquin Bolado from the Bancroft Library]

His father was an officer in the Spanish army at the time of the invasion of Napoleon, and after the war retired from the service. Valentin was a large landholder and operator in lands, etc. One of his sons is a lawyer in Spain and has held the office of judge and other positions of honor, and is a wealthy man. A daughter (sister of our subject) is the wife of a large landowner; and the other two are unmarried ladies. Mr. Joaquin Bolado, the oldest of the children in the above family, studied Latin under the instructions of a private tutor, and, as he became a young man, began business as a clerk in the shipping and forwarding house of his uncle, a prominent man of Santander, Spain, being employed there for three years.In 1870, he went to Zacatecas, Mexico, where he had an uncle living, and secured a position in the dry goods house of Juan de la Guerra, for whom he was engaged for about four years. He next entered the employ of Watson, Newell & Co., an English firm at Zacatecas, and took charge of their bullion shipments to the seaport towns of Matamoros, Mazatlan and sometimes Tampico. In this capacity he had under his care immense sums of money, the account of a single shipment sometimes running into the millions of dollars!

Being thus engaged between the United States and Mexico, his duties sometimes took him close to the scene of hostilities: and on one occasion he was escorted by Captain Lewis, Commander of the Texas Rangers, and while with that officer met and made acquaintance of General Wool, at Monterey. While engaged in one of his periodical trips, in 1848, he learned of the discovery of gold in California; and, in partnership with Casaños Bros., of Tepic, he employed about fifty Mexicans, including a physician, the intention being of utilizing the force in digging gold in the new fields. All preparations having been made, he left San Blas, with his expedition, on the Schooner Maria, June 26, 1849, arriving at Monterey, California, after a voyage of about sixty-two days.

They went to what is now Watsonville, secured six carts (carretas del pais) and went to the Tuolumne River and commenced to work the gold placers near Major Savage’s camp. Their success here, however, was not great, and they went to the camp at Sonora, where most of the people they had brought up from Mexico left them.

Mr. Bolado returned to San Jose and engaged in general merchandising, in partnership. A year afterward he contracted with Francisco Pacheco to take the San Luis [Gonzaga] Ranch for eight years, in partnership with Ripa Pagaza and Castaños, also from Spain. On this land they pursued the livestock business, being very successful, as their profits in six years were nearly $200,000! Butchers would come to their ranch from points as remote as Sonora, Campo Americano, Angel’s, etc., while they also found market in San Francisco and elsewhere. He was so engaged for eight years.

After withdrawing from business for a short time he again took a stock ranch, near Nicolaus, between Sacramento and Marysville, but he sold out there in 1860, went to San Francisco and engaged in the commission business, on Sansome Street, near Pacific as a member of the firm of [Francisco?] Sanjurjo, Bolado and [Domingo?] Pujol. Their business consisted in the importing of Havana Cigars and in general trade with Mexico and Central America.

In 1862 Mr. Bolado went with his wife on a tour to Europe, the trip occupying fourteen months, and they visited also the exposition at London. In 1864 the firm lost 14,000 cattle in San Luis Obispo County and about 1,000 horses and 3,000 cattle on the Quien Sabe Ranch.

In 1866, after closing the business mentioned, Mr. Bolado entered into partnership with Mariano Malarin and stocked the San Luis ranch. They were associated two or three years, and then Mr. Bolado, in company with José G. Arques, bought the Santa Ana Ranch of 23,000 acres, for stock purposes.

Bolado BrandThey carried on business together for two years, after which they sold off 5,000 acres and divided the remainder. To his half, Mr. Bolado has added by purchase until he now has 9,500 acres in his ranch. He has also a tract of 1,000 acres six miles east of Hollister, which is fine farming land. He also has banking interests in San Francisco, is a director of the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Hollister, and President of the Farmers Merchant Company, of Tres Pinos. He is in no sense a politician, but votes with the Democratic party.

Socially, he is a member of the San Francisco Society of California Pioneers, and of the Odd Fellows Lodge at Hollister. He was married February 2, 1857, to Miss Julia [Josepha] Abrego, a native of Monterey, California, and a daughter of Jose and Josepha [Estrada] Abrego. Her mother was a sister of Governor Alvarado and the father was a merchant from the city of Mexico; the latter settled at Monterey, and there held the post of Treasurer for the Government of Mexico.

Julia Josepha Abrego de Bolado - GraveMrs. Bolado died January 10, 1891, in San Francisco. By this marriage there were four children, three of whom died at an early age. Their living child, Julia, is the wife of Gaston Ashe, of San Francisco.

Photo Credit: Mary Thiele Fobian

Source: A Memorial and Biographical History of the Coast Counties of Central California. The Lewis Publishing Company. 1893. Henry D. Barrows, Luther A. Ingersoll, Editors. p. 345.

Bolado Coat of Arms

Translated by Franca

Includes the names Bolado, Aya, Muriedos, Peres, Dehesa, de la Torre, which explanation is as follows:

Bolado Coat of ArmsBolado: On a background of gold a gray tower with a wild hog at the foot which is trying to climb it.

Aya: On a background of silver, a ribbon, the ends in the mouth of two dragons; on top of the ribbon, a griffin, and underneath two new moons.

Muriedos [Muriedas?]: On a field of silver a black eagle fighting.

Peres: On a field of silver two separate similar copper kettles. And the other one on a background of gold a pear tree with fruit and at the foot of the tree a red lion.

Dehesa: Divided like the former one, at the left, in a background of silver, a tree with a wolf tied to the trunk; and on the right side on a background of crimson a golden castle.

de la Torre: A background of blue, a silver tower on three steps of stone, two lions of gold standing against the tower, on top of the tower a laurel wreath, and over the wreath a silver star.

Above the shield is a helmet with vizor closed and adorned with plumes the color of crimson and blue, facing the right in proof of legitimacy.

This escutcheon exists carved in stone in the original Bolado house in the town of Flerrero. The department of Bolado and all the documents are [were] in the possession of Valentine de Bolado. Written by Julian de Bolado.

Published on May 30, 2006 at 6:01 am  Comments (1)  

One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Hi..I am Emilio Narvaez Bolado Jr.I am a Filipino and I’m very happy to know that there is a Bolado Park. Thank you very much… and God Bless BOLADO Park…

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