BUILDER OF FAMOUS ADOBE SUCCUMBS
Santa Barbara, March 28. - Cristobal A. Ramirez, 93 years of age, pioneer of Santa Barbara, who built the famous adobe that bore his name, will be buried tomorrow morning in Calvary Cemetery following funeral services at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church. He died last night after a brief illness.
He was married in 1865 to Ventura Gonzalez. The Spanish King had granted her father a large tract of land which included what is now the lower east side of Santa Barbara. Senora Ramirez died in 1923, shortly after the couple had sold their adobe home to Mrs. A. L. Murphy Vhay, the present owner.
Submitted by: Karla Everett
NOTE: The information for Ramirez, Cristobal A. is incorrect. The Gonzalez-Ramirez adobe was built circa 1825 by José Rafael Marcel Gonzalez, a native-born former Santa Barbara Presidio soldier and twice alcalde of Santa Barbara. In 1866 , it was deeded to his daughter Salome Francisca Ventura Gonzalez after her marriage to Ramirez in 1865. The house is a National Historic Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Submitted by: Hattie Beresford
Death of a Very Old Citizen.
On the 24th day of last December there died at Los Nietos, in this county, one of the very oldest native Californians in the State. His name was Jose Maria Romero. He was over 100 years of age, or, as near as his friends could make out, almost 108 years old, and that was the age his family gave to the parish priest at San Gabriel, when he was buried, December 26. Senor Romero saw the foundation of the new San Gabriel Mission, and was present, with his father, at its dedication, where he told the writer of this some years ago, he remembered seeing the late venerable Dona Eulalie de Guillem, who died a few years ago at a very advanced age, who was there with her husband and two or three small children, although she was still quite a young woman (doncella).
Don Jose was a brother of Mrs. Verdugo, the wife of Don Julio Verdugo, the former owner and grantee of the Verdugo or San Rafael rancho; also of Dona Isabel Dominguez, mother of Mrs. Carpenter, of Old Los Nietos, and of the mother of the late Mrs. Wm. Wolfskill, and was therefore related to the Verdugo, Dominguez, Lugo and Wolfskill families, and their descendants. It used to be very interesting to listen to his account of the old and primitive times here in Southern California, when the Missions of San Gabriel, San Fernando and San Diego, and the pueblo of Los Angeles were in their infancy. Senor Romero became very inform during the latter part of his life, though he retained the use of his senses nearly up to the last. H.D.B. February, 1885.
Submitted by: Karla Everett
LINK OF THE PAST AND THE PRESENT BROKEN
Senora Reymunda Feliz de Romero
With the impressive Roman Catholic ritual the last rites were held at Plaza Church yesterday morning over the remains of Senora Reymunda Feliz de Romero, who died Tuesday morning. The pastor of the church, Father Caballeria, celebrated the requiem mass and preached the funeral sermon. For eighty-eight years Senora Romero had been a resident of this city, and she was known to all of the old Spanish settlers. Though the mass was celebrated at 9:30 o'clock in the morning, the church was crowded and the funeral cortege to Calvary Cemetery, where the body was laid to rest, was a long one.
The church was draped in black for the ceremonies and around the bier were placed the ancient candelabra which have seen service since the days of the padres. All of the quaint old customs, dating back to Mission days, were observed, and the nave of the church, illuminated only by the small windows and filled with reverent friends, presented much the same picture that it must have on similar occasions in the days gone by.
Within the church have been held the funeral services of not only the mother and husband of the late Senora Romero, but of one daughter and several grandchildren as well. Many of the little decorations, now black with age, were bought with money which she donated in her younger days. For many years her name has appeared on the back of one of the pews.
In the course of the funeral sermon Father Caballeria told of the many years that Senora Romero had been a member of the congregation, and of the great changes that had come to the country during that time. He begged his bearers to preserve the old ideals of churchmanship, and to keep fresh the memories of the past.
Los Angeles Times, Feb 26, 1908
LIVED NEARLY CENTURY HERE.
DEATH TAKES SENORA ROMERO, OF NOTED FAMILY.
Born in Los Angeles Ninety-nine Years Ago and Once Owned Lands Now Worth Many Millions - Probably Last Link Closely Binding These Days With Early Times.
One of the last links which bind the new California to the old was broken yesterday afternoon by the death of Senora Reymunda Feliz de Romero. She was one of the last, if not actually the last, of the old Spanish aristocrats, who, in the early years of the last century, held court in this new world, surrounded by their retainers and vassals and maintaining the state which they knew in the old homes in Spain.
Senora Romero was born in Los Angeles in 1809. Her father was the late Juan Feliz, owner of Los Feliz Rancho, a part of which is now Griffith Park, while her mother was Maria Ignacio Verdugo de Feliz, owner of the Verdugo Rancho and one of the wealthiest of the Spanish land owners.
The old Feliz homestead, where Senora Romero was born, was on Aliso street near what is now Lyon street. The property embraced more than twenty-five acres and the establishment was one of the most lordly of the pueblo. The buildings were all of adobe, the main house being a rambling affair with patio and wide verandas. Surrounding it were the houses of the Indian retainers and at one time the establishment was the largest in the district.
Fifty years ago Senora Romero was rated the wealthiest woman in the southern part of the State, and her home was the center of cultured and aristocratic society. Within its portals were entertained the Franciscan padres when they visited the town on their rounds, and the lady of the manor was one of the most devoted daughters of the church.
Juan Feliz died without other issue and when his widow passed away she left all her property to her daughter, Senora Romero. This property included a large part of the Verdugo Rancho, all of Los Feliz Rancho and much property in the heart of Los Angeles. The land, at the present day, is worth millions of dollars.
Senora Romero was the lady bountiful of the pueblo, and day after day used to make the rounds of the neighboring ranches, distributing provisions and delicacies and spreading cheerfulness as she went.
Her mode of travel in the old days was by ox cart, and her two oxen, dragging their heavy two-wheeled vehicle, were common sights on the roads. She knew every family by name and the least rumor of misfortune coming to any of them was sure to result in a visit from her.
Throughout her long life, Senora Romero was a member of the Plaza Church. Her donations to it were large, and for years she was its chief support. At the time of her death she was the oldest member of the congregation and, it is said, the only one who remembered it in the days of the padres.
Senora Romero lived on the Aliso street place until a few years ago, when advancing years demanded special care for her. She then moved to the home of her daughter, Mrs. Louisa Domingo de Sepulveda, at No. 307 Ogler street.
Though the Verdugo and Los Feliz ranches passed out of the possession of Senora Romero more than forty years ago, she was by no means poor at the time of her death, and her estate includes considerable real estate. Part of it is a lot on Aliso street, the actual site of her old home. Out of sentiment, she retained that property, though disposing of the surrounding land.
Married twice, her first husband was Juan Domingo, by whom she had three children, Louisa Domingo de Sepulveda, Juan Domingo and Antonio Domingo. Her second husband was Jose Maria Romero, whom she married in 1868. The couple had one daughter, who died in childhood. Senor Romero died twenty-five years ago.
In spite of her great age, Senora Romero retained her keen intellect to the last. She clearly remembered the happenings of the early years, and used to delight to relate to her great grandchildren stories of the olden days when she was mistress of thousands of acres and the actual ruler of many hundreds of people.
Old age was the cause of her death. Only three days before the end she was about the house as usual. She suffered no illness, and the end was caused by a gradual failing of strength. Strong in her faith, she welcomed her end when it came.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been completed. The services will be held, however, at the old Plaza Church.
Submitted by: Karla Everett
ELDERLY NATIVE OF CITY DIES
Senora Concepcion Avila de Ruiz, link to the early Spanish rule in California, died yesterday at the family home, Rancho Tajauta, in Watts. Her death came within six days of her eighty-fifth birthday, December 7.
Born at Watts
She was the granddaughter of Cornelio Avila, Spanish soldier who came to California in 1769 to protect the rights of the Spanish crown and obtained Tajauta for his service.
Dona Concepcion was born and raised on the ancestral land at Watts. She so rarely left the above that on her wedding a half-century ago her husband-to-be had to travel to Tajauta so she could be married before the family chapel. There they remained to live under the bride's paternal roof.
Her late husband was Don Jose de la Cruz Ruiz, descendant of Don Maximo Alaniz from Rancho San Jose de Buenos Aires. Still in the family adobe are the elderly brother and sister, Jose and Josepha Avila.
Following an old custom, the rosary
will be recited in the family home, 11642 Wilmington avenue, at 8 p.m.
Senora Avila de Ruiz
Funeral services for Senora Concepcion Avila de Ruiz, descendant of an early California Spanish family who died Wednesday will be conducted at 10 a.m. today at the family home, Rancho Tajauta, Watts, followed by interment at Woodlawn Cemetery.
She leaves a brother and sister, Jose and Josefa Avila, at the family adobe, where rosary was recited last night.
Submitted by: Karla Everett