San Mateo County History
San Mateo County Gazette News
February 1861
(Transcribed by Chris Havnar)

San Mateo County Gazette
Redwood City, San Mateo County, California
Saturday Morning, February 2, 1861, Vol. 2 No. 44

SOLE TRADER LAW. C.N. Fox, Esq., has just completed the draft of a complete new Sole Trader Act, which will be forwarded to Senator Phelps for presentation to the Legislature.  We understand the main features of it have been discussed with the Senator, and that it will meet his approval.  This bill is designed to stop the numerous frauds which are daily being committed under the present law, and at the same time to secure the rights of a sole trader to married women in every deserving case even given them increased protection over the present system, while it effectually guards against the smuggling away of property by fraudulent or insolvent husbands.  If the bill becomes a law, which we hope it may, we shall publish it, or give a full synopsis.

HIGHWAY ROBBERY, PERHAPS MURDER. We are informed that on Sunday evening last, two laboring men were going from Woodside to Spanishtown, and while in the canyon about one mile from the latter place, they were overtaken by two mounted men, apparently Mexicans, who robbed them of money and a valise.  One of the men attempted to escape, and was pursued and fired at three times by one of the robbers, and is believed to have been killed.  The other made his escape, and afterwards visited the spot, but could see nothing of, and has not yet found, his missing companion.  If the matter was properly sifted, we believe the robbers could be detected and punished.

NEW SAW MILLS. Messrs. French & Carter are building a saw mill on the San Gregoria creek, about one mile Burns John's.  It is to run and sash and shingle saw.  Mr. French has purchased some claims in the neighborhood, on which are said to be plenty of fine timber suitable for lumber and shingles.  The mill will be in operation within a short time.  It is to be propelled by water.

Mr. Huntington is erecting a shingle mill upon one of the upper tributaries of the San Gregoria to be run by steam.

Good Roads Again. The fine weather of the past two weeks has nearly dried up the muddy roads, and traveling is comparatively good.  The Overland Mail Company are again bringing their coaches into use, and the time made from this place to San Francisco is within half an hour of that made in summer.  We understand that Mr. E. Earnest designs in a short time using coaches on his Accommodation Line.

Office of Assessor. This office having become vacant by the death of J.D. Rose, it becomes necessary for the vacancy to be filled previous to the first Monday in March.

San Mateo County Gazette
Redwood City, San Mateo County, California
Saturday Morning, February 9, 1861, Vol. 2 No. 45


Regular meeting, Feb. 4th, 1861.  Present a full Board.

R.S. Thornton was on motion confirmed as permanent Chairman.

     The report of the viewers of the San Andreas Valley road having been objected to because of the indefiniteness of the location recommended, Messrs. Berry Jones, Jacob Tyson, and L. Whittingham were appointed to review and locate said road.  The County Surveyor was directed to survey and file map of the same with the report of the viewers.

     A petition was received to change the public road at Spanishtown.  Messrs. H.C. Bidwell, Thos. Johnson and Estanislaus Zaballa were appointed viewers.

     Also for a change in the road near John Johnson's residence, 2d Township. Upon which Messrs. S. Hovious, John Johnson, and Willard Buzzell were appointed to view and report.

     The viewers of the projected road from Searsville via Weeks ranch to Santa Cruz reported, and the proper notices ordered to parties interested to appear at next meeting of the Board.

     In the matter of the road from Lapham's mill to the foot of the mountain near Maynard's ranch, the viewers having reported favorably, the necessary notice was ordered, to be answered on or before the 18th inst.

     The District Attorney was authorized to settle, upon certain conditions, the suit brought by D. Mahony to enjoin sale of property for taxes.

     The following bills were presented and allowed: San Francisco County Hospital, $105; John Greer, $30; J.P. Ames, $20; D.A. Foulkes, $77.62; T. Finger, $26; Berry Jones, $25; R.S. Thornton, $50.87; J.V. Diller, $37.50; B.G. Lathrop, $150; W.B. Cook & Co., $124; W.C.R. Smith, $70.

     Ordered that the Supervisors of each District attend to and provide for the indigent sick of his District. $1.50 for each visit, and fifty cents mileage when visiting the patient, physician's fees, were adopted as the rates of payment to be allowed.

     Abel Thornton was appointed Assessor, to fill the vacancy by the death of J.D. Rose.

     The bid of H.S. Loveland for the mountain-road; that of A.W. Rice for the Sand Hills road; and that of P. Plympton for Redwood City road, were accepted, and referred to the committees which are or may be appointed to manage the work in each case.

The Board then adjourned to meet Monday 18th inst.

Removal of the County Seat. This subject is attracting some attention, and is by some agitated with considerable earnestness.  As the removal is a matter of great moment, the subject should be approached with circumspection.  Our columns are open for a rational discussion of this matter.

Drawing Jurors. The drawing of sixteen grand and twenty-four trial jurors, will take place Monday next, 11th inst., for the term of the Court of Sessions, which convenes Wednesday, 6th March.

THE FAILURES IN SAN FRANCISCO The great topic of excitement in San Francisco on the 5th was the failure of Taaffee, McCahill & Co., one of the oldest dry goods establishments in the city.  Their entire liabilities are about $1,300,000.

     The next largest failure was that of Solomon H. Bohm & Co., dry good merchants on Sacramento street between Sansome and Battery.  The suits commenced against them amount to $58,000.

     The third failure is that of Thomas Brady, of the New York Dry Goods Store, on Montgomery street near Bush.  The suits commenced against him amount to $14,664.22.

PARDONED Governor Downey has pardoned G.F. Wyman, who was convicted of manslaughter in April, 1860, and sentenced to one year in the State Prison; grave doubts having arisen of his guilt, and petitions having been sent in numerously signed asking for his pardon.  The Governor alleges, also, that Wyman has a family dependent on him for support, which is another cause moving to clemency.  S.F. Herald.


Know all men by these presents, that I, Cordelia E. Weeks, wife of Robinson J. Weeks, residents of the County of San Mateo, being desirous of availing myself of the provisions of an Act of the Legislature of the State of California entitled An Act to authorize married women to carry on and transact business in their own names, as sole traders, passed April 12th, 1852, do hereby publish and declare my intention from and after this date, to transact and carry on business in my own name and on my own account, as a sole trader, said business so to be carried on by me, is intended to be that of Farming, Ranching, raising stock, Dairy business, teaming, dealing in lumber, as well as all other business incidental to or necessary in the said business heretofore enumerated.  Said business to be carried on in the county of San Mateo, and that from and after this date I will be individually responsible, in my own name, for all bets by me contracted on account of my said business, and that the capital invested in said business is less than five thousand dollars.

     In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal, this 1st day of February, A.D. 1961.


On this 1st day of February A.D. 1861, before me, Heman A. Scofield, a Notary Public in and for said county, personally appeared Cordelia E. Weeks, wife of Robinson J. Weeks personally known to me to be the individual described in and who executed the annexed instrument as a party thereto and acknowledged to me that she executed the same freely and voluntarily, and for the uses and purposes therein mentioned.  And the said Cordelia E. Weeks, wife of the said Robinson J. Weeks, having been by me, first made acquainted with the contents of said instrument, acknowledged to me on examination apart form and without the hearing of her husband, that she executed the same freely and voluntarily, without fear or compulsion or undue influence of her husband, and that she did not wish to retract the execution of the same.

    In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my official seal, the day and year in this Certificate first above written.

Notary Public

FROM PURISSIMA AND HALFMOON BAY. We learn that this interesting portion of our county continues in its usual flourishing condition, and evidences of health progress are strikingly evident.  Indeed, we are constrained to say that in many particulars it promises to outstrip the older and hitherto more prominent or noticeable districts within our boundaries, to judge by the organizations of societies, etc., and the generally active spirit of the people in that section.  We give them due credit for this trait, which leads to the happiest results, socially and otherwise, and commend it to our fellow citizens, who may with profit follow their example.  Among other particulars we are told that a lyceum is now formed and regularly attended by members, at the Purissima schoolhouse.  This is a rational and mentally profitable employment, and will be continued, we are certain, to the improvement, morally, physically and mentally, of all who engage in its proceedings.  We are told the discussions are of more than ordinary merit.

     Lane's (late Connelly's) mill has recently been much improved by a new water wheel, and general renovation, which is of importance, as the lumber for the whole of that section is furnished by this mill.  The capacity is increased by the change, we are told, about twenty per cent.

     A voluntary company is about being formed to be known as the Halfmoon Bay Invincibles.  About twenty names are already enrolled.  The company will consist of fifty members.  They are to be uniformed as regular U.S. infantry in every respect, their drill to be that of light infantry, and to use California State Minnie rifles.

San Mateo County Gazette
Redwood City, San Mateo County, California
Saturday Morning, February 16, 1861, Vol. 2 No. 46

JURORS DRAWN -  The following are lists of the names of the grand and trial jurors drawn for the Court of Sessions, which convenes on Wednesday, March 6th.

     GRAND JURORS J.O. Shaw, J.W. Rodgers, Burns John, J. Ralston, J.D. Roberts, G.L. Sampson, J.J. Roberts, Robert Patten, O. McGarvey, J.E. King, Saml. Hall, A.C. Harmon, R.H. Hatch, T.W. Buckley, W.S. Downing, J.L. Snow.

     TRIAL JURORS James Burns, F. Gilbert, James Doland, W.W. Hull, J.J. Jacobus, Robt. Campbell, A. Cahill, M. Dubbs, Geo. Kendall, A. Little, John Gardner, B. Dryer, J. Franklin, W.C. Crook, Wm. H. Lyon, Wm. Godfrey, J.B. Connor, _____ Folger, A. Nelson, G.R. Mitchell, P. Brooks, M. Doyle, F. Knight, Michael Burns.

MURDER. ARREST OF THE MURDERERS. A murder, cool and premeditated, the evidence before the coroner's inquest goes to show, was committed at Spanishtown on Sunday evening last, by two Manillamen, Norberto Larosa and Victoriano Quinto.  The victim was Jose Bifano, an Italian, who kept a grocery at the above named place.  The testimony elicited at the inquest held upon the body of the murdered man, was, that during the day of the murder the two men called at the store several times and inquired after Bifano, who was absent, and on being told he was not in, said they would call again.  The came to the store between seven and eight o clock, Bifano having returned.  After conserving with him a short time, they purchased a piece of cheese, and in a few minutes turned to go, leaving the purchase upon the counter.  Bifano, took up the cheese and called to them, reminding them of their seeming neglect, at the same time approaching them from behind the counter with the cheese in his hand.  When close to them, Larosa suddenly drew a knife and made a pass at him, Bifano catching the blade in his hand, cutting it to the bone, but he succeeded in wrenching the knife from the other's grasp.  In the meantime, Quinto drew his knife and stabbed Bifano in the side.  They then made their escape.  The wounded man lived about half an hour.  As soon as the stabbing was known, several parties in pursuit of the murderers.  Mr. J.W. Thompson, and Mr. Boynton were among the pursuers, who after continuing the search until Tuesday evening, ascertained that the murderers were then with some of their countrymen, who were burning charcoal in the mountains.  Being joined by several gentlemen from Searsville, they proceeded to the place, on Wednesday morning, and found them.  Larosa was arrested without difficulty.  Quinto was discovered to be in a tent, evidently intending by his movements, being armed with a revolver, to resist.  On refusing to come out, some of the party fired through the side of the tent, riddling it with revolver balls, and it is next to a miracle that the murderer was not killed on the spot.  As it was, he only received three flesh wounds.  It is plain it was not his fate to be killed by gun-shot wounds.  A man born to be hung, will never be drowned, they say.  Finding his quarters too warm, he at length came out, threw down his revolver, and surrendered.  The two were then brought to Redwood City, and the examination set for today.  These men were lately convicted of assault with deadly weapons, and were under bonds for the offence at the time of committing this murder.  It is a matter for congratulation with our citizens that these men have been arrested, and it is to be hoped that such a wholesome example may be made of them as will prevent similar acts in future.

AN ADDITION TO SAN MATEO COUNTY. We are informed that a petition, signed by a large number of the residents on the Pescadero, Santa Cruz county, has been forwarded to the Legislature, praying that body to change the boundary line between this and Santa Cruz county, so as to bring Pescadero Township within the limits of San Mateo.  The people of that district have long labored under a very serious disadvantage in being so far removed from their county seat, and it is probably on this account, in a great measure, that this movement has been commenced.

Quarterly Meeting M.E. Church South. This meeting will commence on Saturday 23d inst., and continue Sunday 24th, in the schoolhouse, Redwood City.  Services will be holden by Rev. M. Evans, Presiding Elder of the San Francisco District, and by Rev. F.M. Staton, of this circuit.  The public are respectfully requested to be present.

Divine Service There will be Divine service tomorrow.  By the Rev. J.S. Zelle, at the Court room at three o clock P.M.

By Pastor F.M. Staton at the School-house at seven o clock P.M.

San Mateo County Gazette
Redwood City, San Mateo County, California
Saturday Morning, February 23, 1861, Vol. 2 No. 47

THE DEDICATION TO-DAY. We would remind our readers that the dedication of the new Temperance Hall, at Woodside, will take place to-day.  The ceremonies will commence at 11 o clock.  Addresses will be delivered by A.D. Jones, Esq., Grand Worthy Patriarch of the Order of the Sons of Temperance in California, and by other Brethren of the Order.

COUNTY COURT. Special term, March 15th.  In the matter of the petition of Charles Underwood, in insolvency.  The Petitioner in this case shows the total value of his assets to be four dollars.  By agreement of creditors, Horace Templeton was appointed assignee.

NEW COPARTNERSHIP. J.L. McCabe, Esq., long and favorably known in commercial circles in San Francisco, has become associated in business, as a partner, with H.C. Bidwell, Esq., of Spanishtown.  This is necessary consequence, we understand, of the increased labor incident to the continually enlarging business for which Mr. Bidwell is entitled to credit, as it is the result of his well-directed individual labors.


Adjourned meeting Feb. 18th 1861.  Present a full Board.

The viewers of road from Crystal Springs to San Bruno House, filed report, with map of survey, and the legal notices were ordered for 4th day of March.

In the matter of the petition for a road from Searsville to Hamilton s, it was ordered that the County Surveyor proceed to survey the route and file map thereof, when the said road shall be and is declared a public highway as petitioned for.

The report of viewers on change of road at Spanishtown, was laid over till next meeting.

The proposed road from Lapham's mill to Maynard's having been objected to, commissioners were appointed to assess the probable damage, and report at the next meeting.

A favorable report was received upon the change of road at John Johnson s, 2d Township, the proper notices were ordered to issue for parties to appear at next meeting.

The following bills were presented: A.S. Easton, $50; Wm. Godfrey, $14; R. Murphy, $12; T.J. Phillips, $6.

Adam T. Castor was granted the right to build a wharf on the Belmont Embarcadero Creek, with an exclusive right thereto for ten years, with certain privileges upon adjoining lands.

The Board then adjourned to meet the first Monday in March.

DESTRUCTION OF A MILL-DAM. Besides other damage of greater or lesser importance, done by the late storm, was the destruction of the mill-dam of Cameron's grist-mill, near Searsville, which casualty renders the mill useless until the dam is replaced.  This is a great misfortune for Mr. Cameron, who has been at much expense, and has devoted several months of time and labor, in getting the mill in running order, having almost entirely rebuilt and renovated it.  It is a serious loss, also to the farmers in the vicinity, who regarded the mill as a necessity.  The entire loss to Mr. Cameron is about two thousand dollars, besides the deprivation of a business which promised to be profitable.  It is uncertain whether the dam will be reconstructed of that the mill will be in operation again, the present year.

MURDERERS COMMITTED. As intimated in last week's paper, the men Quinto and Larosa, charged with the murder of Jose Bifano, at Spanishtown, were brought before Justice Turner for examination on Saturday last.  The evidence showed the facts in the case to be substantially the same as those given by us, with the addition that the wife of the murdered man fired with a revolver at the men while they were leaving the store, after committing the murder.  The dying declaration of Bifano, the murdered man, clearly establishing the identity of the two prisoners as the men who killed him, was also given in evidence by a friend to whom it was made.  The prisoners were committed, to await the action of the Grand Jury.

The Proposed Annexation of Pescadero.  In addition to the petition, a bill was also presented in the Senate, embracing the necessary details, which was referred to the proper committee.   The people of San Mateo county would gladly welcome the addition of this thriving district of country within their boundary, if for no reason than to afford a greatly desired accommodation to their fellow citizens and neighbors.  In a material point of view, however, our county would be greatly the gainer.  A large amount of valuable taxable property, personal and real estate would be added, and above all, several hundreds in population, of that class of people that compose the bone and sinew of the nation, we mean farmers, would be added to San Mateo county.

Sheriff's Sale

By virtue of an execution, issued out of the District Court of the Twelfth Judicial District of the State of California, in and for the County of San Mateo, in the suit of Robert Scott against Robert Patten, duly attested the twenty-eighth day of January A.D. 1861, and to me duly directed and delivered, by which I am commanded to make the sum of six hundred and fifty-nine dollars and seventy-eight cents, ($659.78) and all accruing costs, I have levied on the following property, heretofore attached in the above-named suit, on the thirtieth day of July, A.D. 1960, to wit: All the right, title and interest of the above named defendant, Robert Patten, in to the following property, to wit:

     All that certain piece or parcel of land, lying and being situated in the County of San Mateo, State of California, said land lying formerly in the County of San Francisco, in said State, and described as follows, viz: The southeast quarter of the northeast quarter of Section fourteen, township three south, range six west.  Also, the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of Section fourteen, township three south, range six west.  Containing, in all, one hundred and sixty (160) acres of land.  Together with all and singular the tenements, hereditaments and appurtenances thereonto belonging or in any wise appertaining.

     Notice is hereby given, that on Friday, the fifteenth day of March, A.D. 1861, at two o clock P.M. in front of the Court House doors of San Mateo County, at Redwood City, I will sell all the right, title and interest which the above-named defendant, Robert Patten had in and to the above-described pieces or parcels of land on the day of the levy of the attachment in the above-entitled cause (to wit, July 30th, 1860) or has, at any time, since had, at Public Auction, for cash in hand, to satisfy said execution and all costs.


Sheriff San Mateo County
By John Ames, Under Sheriff
Dated, Redwood City, February 21, 1860


All persons are hereby cautioned against purchasing property of any kind from Catharine Underwood, or her husband, Charles Underwood, or from any person acting for them, as I have been appointed Assignee in Insolvency of the said Charles Underwood, and claim that all property held by either him or his wife is his property, and subject alone to my control as such assignee, and this claim I shall enforce as fast as time and the Courts will permit.

Redwood City, Feb. 20, 1861

Administrator's Notice.

Estate of Joseph Emerson, Deceased. Notice is hereby given by the Undersigned, Administrator of the above-named Estate, to all persons having claims against said deceased, to exhibit the same, with the necessary vouchers, within ten months from the first publication of this notice, to the Undersigned, at his office, No. 6, Well's Building, southwest corner of Montgomery and Clay streets, City and County of San Francisco.

Administrator of said Estate
San Francisco, Feb. 18, 1861


J.L. McCabe is my partner, from and after this date.
H.C. Bidwell
Spanishtown, Feb. 6, 1861

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