Southern California Genealogical Society
Southern California Genealogical Society: Database: Los Angeles City Cemetery
Los Angeles City Cemetery: Obituaries
Los Angeles Times
February 14, 1882 pg O-3
A Remarkable Record The First Death and that Accidental.

Yesterday was laid to rest the body of Mr. G. W. Swart, by the A. O. U. W. order of this city, this being the first time that order has been called upon to perform the last sad rites for any member of the lodges of this city. The unfortunate man had resided here for a number of years until last summer, when he went up to Cerro Gordo in the employ of Mr. N. Nadeau as teamster. He had decided to leave Mr. Nadeau’s employ, and was on his way to this city with a freighting outfit of two large wagons, and when in the vicinity of Elizabeth Lake some disarrangement occurred to his wagons and while righting them he was caught between them and badly crushed through the abdomen. A passing teamster found him and took him to Newhall, placing him aboard the train for this city. He arrived here Thursday and died on Saturday. He leaves his property, including the $2,000 which the lodge gives his assignee to his daughter who is in San Francisco. The assertion is ventured that there is not a lodge of A. O. U. W. in existence that can show such a record as can Los Angeles Lodge No. 55. It has been organized three years and five months and this is the first death occurring among its members, and this is the result of an accident.

Los Angeles Times
February 14, 1882 - pg. 0-4

(Notices of marriages, births and deaths are published gratuitously in the Times, and friends will confer a favor by handing in or sending to this office such notices.)

King – In this city, February 13 th, Marguerite, youngest child of Mr. And Mrs. A. J. King. Friends of the family are invited to attend the funeral from St. Athanasius’ Church to-day at 11 o’clock A. M.

Glade – In Los Angeles, Feb. 12, of dropsy, H. O. Glade of Chicago, aged 54 years.

Swart – In this city, at the St. Charles Hotel, Feb. 12, 1882, aged 47 years, G. W. Swart, of injuries received by being crushed between two wagons at Elizabeth Lake.

Los Angeles Times
April 7, 1882 - pg. 0-2
Another Sad Home

This community was much pained to learn that the wife of our worthy fellow-citizen, Dr. L.W. French, was in a dying condition, and that was supplemented by a report at 5 P. M., which proved to be too true, that she was dead. The intelligence was startling, as few outside of the most intimate acquaintances of the family had any information of her illness. She was in the prime of life, and was taken from her interesting family of three children when they most need a mother’s care. The warmest sympathy of the doctor’s many friends will be drawn out to him for his great affliction.

Los Angeles Times
April 9, 1882 - pg. 0-2

The funeral services for the late Mrs. Dr. French was held at the Methodist Church at 1 P. M. yesterday. The attendance of friends was very large. The services were conducted by Rev. Mr. Chase, assisted by Rev. Mr. Hough and Rev. Mr. Bovard.

Los Angeles Times
May 18, 1882 - pg. 0-3

Milner - Los Angeles, Cal., May 17, 1882, Hans, infant son of John and Anna Milner, aged 2 years, 2 months and 16 days.

Los Angeles Times
May 27, 1882 - pg. 0-3

Gray – At Los Angeles, May 26, 1882, by his own hand, Thomas Gray, aged 59 years. Funeral from the residence, corner of Flower and Seventh streets, Sunday at 2 P. M.

"Los Angeles Daily Times" Chinese Section
April 5, 1882 - pg O3

A curious ceremony was performed about noon yesterday in connection with a funeral in the Chinese portion of the cemetery on Fort Hill. Two roasted pigs, lighted tapers and an atmosphere filled with incense were provided for the purpose of giving the soul of the departed a good send off to the happy regions.

"Funeral" Mrs. French funeral report
Los Angeles Times
April 9, 1882 pg O-2

Funeral.  The funeral services for the late Mrs. Dr. French was held at the Methodist Church at 1 p.m. yesterday.  The attendance of friends was very large.  The services were conducted by Rev. Mr. Chase, assisted by Rev. Mr. Hough and Rev. Mr. Bovard.

"Died" John Woodworth
Los Angeles Times
September 30,  1882 pg O-4

WOODWORTH - In this city, September 29th, of heart disease, John Woodworth, native of Vermont, father of the late Wallace Woodworth, aged 71 years.  Funeral will take place from his residence, Old Aliso street, to-day at 10 a.m.

"Died" Mrs. L. D. Gavitt
Los Angeles Times
November 3, 1882 pg O-4

GAVITT.  At Los Angeles, November 1, 1882, Mrs. L. D. Gavitt

Los Angeles Times
Mar 18, 1883 - pg. 0-4
Death’s Doings

Lullio Mace, child of Mr. And Mrs. W. H. Mace, aged about four years, died of whooping cough March 15 th. The funeral will take place this afternoon at two o’clock from Brown’s undertaking parlors. The body will be interred at the city cemetery.

Los Angeles Times
June 27, 1883 - pg. 0-4

Trafford. At Los Angeles, June 26, 1883, John Trafford, aged about fifty years. Funeral from his residence, on Morris vineyard tract, at 2 o’clock this afternoon.

Los Angeles Times
July 4, 1883 pg. O-8
Funeral of the Late M. A. Cobler

The funeral of the late M. A. Cobler took place yesterday morning from the Santa Ana train, on which the body arrived, under the auspices of the Masonic fraternity of this city. Mr. Frank Cobler, a son of deceased, arrived at his father’s bedside just before his death, upon receipt of a telegram at Tucson, A. T., where he was, that his father was dangerously ill. Frank was formerly a foreman in the Mirror office, and as, with his family, the sympathy not only of the printing fraternity in his affliction, but of very many other friends.

Los Angeles Times
October 3, 1883 - pg. 0-4

Holbrook - At 12:30 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 3d, Jessie, infant daughter of J. F. and Lora M. Holbrook. Funeral from the residence, No. 43 Vine street, this afternoon (Wednesday) at 3 o’clock. Friends are invited to attend.

Los Angeles Times
November 17, 1883 - pg. 0-4

Smith – In this city Nov. 16, 1883, at 11 o’clock a. m. Sue Glassell Smith, wife of Col. Geo. H. Smith. The funeral will take place from the Episcopal Church, corner of Temple and New High streets, at 3 o’clock this afternoon.

Los Angeles Times
September 26, 1883 - pg O-4
Killed in the Street

Henry Amadon Waylaid and Murdered Yesterday Morning

Date Street the Scene of one of the Blackest Deeds in the Criminal Annals of Los Angeles - Two Arrests Made

At about half-past 4 o'clock yesterday morning a murder almost as foul and brutal as was ever known in the bloodstained annals of early Los Angeles was committed on Date street, near the new railroad depot. This cowardly crime is recorded in the blood of an amiable man, named Henry Amadon, a fireman of the Southern Pacific Railroad -- a man who is said by old-timers to be an example of kindness and suavity….

Los Angeles Times
September 27, 1883 - pg. O-4
The Funeral.

The funeral of the murdered man took place yesterday at 3 p.m., the procession forming at the corner of First and Main streets. It was led by the City Band, No. 38's Engine Company, Confidence Engine Company No. 2., Vigilant Hook and Ladder Company and Park Hose Company participating. A number of the members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers also assisted in the ceremonies. The deceased was buried in the City Cemetery on the hill, a large concourse of people being present. Rev. E. S. Chase of Asbury M. E. Church, East Los Angeles, officiated.

Los Angeles Times
September 27, 1883 pg O-4

The Mysterious Murder

Further Facts Concerning the Dreadful Crime

Conclusion of the Inquest – The Probable Criminals – Motives for the Crime – Amadon’s Funeral

The mysterious murder of Henry C. Amadon still continues to excite great public interest, and, while there were not startling developments yesterday, there is no doubt that the chain of evidence is drawing closer and closer around the real criminals. There were numberless rumors about the streets yesterday, one of the most prominent being that Billings had turned State’s evidence against Forster and made a clean breast of the affair. Investigation at police headquarters, however, showed that this rumor has, as yet, no foundation, and both the suspected parties, Billings and Forster, are still confined in jail.

The general opinion is that John Forster is the most deeply implicated in the terrible crime, and that the woman and her brother Brown, alias Billings, are nearly as deep in the mire.  This impression concerning Mrs. Amadon was believed to be so well founded that a complaint, charging her with being an accessory to the crime, was actually sworn out, but not served, as she has two young children and is so closely watched that she cannot escape.

Henry C. Amadon had $1000 insurance on his life in the Fireman’s Brotherhood, being a benefit payable to his wife in case of his death.  It is hinted that this circumstance was very well known by both Forster and Mrs. Amadon, and may have influenced their action. Amadon’s dues to the Society were, however, in arrears, and the Brotherhood does not intend that the woman shall have any portion of the benefit, but are willing to provide for the children.  In regard to the testimony concerning the pistol found, quite a number of railroad men deny that the weapon exhibited ever belonged to Amadon; that he was undoubtedly unarmed, and the pistol found in the street was thrown there, with two cartridges out of it, to create a belief that Amadon fired two shots.

The mother of Mrs. Amadon has kept for several years a house of ill-fame at Anaheim and her daughter was reared in the midst of the most evil associations. Contradictory reports are circulated concerning the relations between Amadon and his wife, and the truth of the matter is hard to reach.  Amadon’s reputation seems to have been excellent on the railroad, and his friends say he provided his family with everything necessary for their comfort.

Los Angeles Times
October 3, 1883 - pg O-4

The Amadon Murder

The Public Excluded from the Court-Room

Several Witnesses Examined – A Strong Case Against All of the Accused – Some of the Testimony that will be Given

Yesterday morning, at 10 o’clock, Justice Ling’s courtroom was crowded with spectators, anxious to hear the particulars of the most deliberate and cold-blooded assassination that has ever taken place in Los Angeles.  Prominent among them were railroad associates of the deceased, by whom he was highly appreciated and respected.  They were also associates of the alleged principal in the bloody net, but whose utter worthlessness puts him beneath their notice.  In fact, between the alleged assassin and the unfortunate Henry C. Amadon, there lay a great gulf, on one side of which was respectability and honor and on the other hoodlumism and baseness.

In addition to the dense crowd in the courtroom, the corridors were full of people and the eager crowd extended down the stairways to Spring and Main streets, respectively.  All were gossiping and all were earnest in their denunciations of the yet unknown murderers.

Precisely at 10 o’clock Justice Ling called the Court to order. Soon the prisoners were brought in and took their seats.  Both women were veiled, so no expression of theirs could be detected.  The young men looked nervous and Billings kept twirling his thumbs, as if at a loss what to do. Foster had an ear stuffed with cotton, apparently to stifle the reproaches of conscience, if he has such a thing.

The District Attorney announced that the People were ready and the defense made the same statement.  Mr. C. F. Rutan was sworn as shorthand reporter.

Mr. H. T. Gage, counsel for Foster, then demanded a private examination in accordance with section 868 of the Penal Code, which he read.  The District Attorney consented, and the Justice told the audience that he regretted that they could not hear the evidence, but that the law was imperative, and the room must be cleared of all but the prisoners and their counsel, the counsel for the prosecution, the officers having the prisoners in charge, and his (Ling’s) clerk in this case, the short-hand reporter.

The crowd slowly and unwillingly retired, muttering curses, not loud but deep. Such words as, “It must be a desperate case, when they are afraid to let people hear;”  “Wonder if they are afraid of a mob,” etc.  Quite a crowd remained in the corridors and at the foot of the stairs all day, showing the deep interest all classes take in the proceedings.  The Court held morning and afternoon sessions, and then adjourned until this morning at ten o’clock, when there will be another star chamber session.  Very little of the evidence given has leaked out.  In fact, it is hard to ascertain exactly who were witnesses, but one thing is certain, Mrs. M. Brown, of Anaheim, the mother of the two women and Tom Billings, was there. She needed no introductions to attorneys or others present; in fact, seemed to know all in the room.  What her testimony was could not be learned, but it is rumored it was to prove the eminent respectability of her children and show that she had directed them in the path of virtue and trained them up in the way that they should go. There was no attempt made to impeach her testimony so far as could be learned.  Besides this and a little pass at arms between His Honor and the District Attorney, nothing was heard.

However, if there be no leak in the evidence taken yesterday, which is said to be unimportant, information may come from other directions.  It is well before starting to clear up the mystery surrounding this case – to look back.  Henry C. Amadon was married a number of years ago, perhaps eight, to one of the women arrested on the charge of having been a party to his murder.  His was always noted as an indulgent husband and loving father.  A year or two ago John Forster commenced visiting his house, generally during his absence, while out on the road attending to his duties as a fireman. Mrs. Amadon had a sister named Isabella, who some time ago married a fireman named Greenleaf, who was killed in an Arizona railroad accident shortly afterwards.  So Isabel became a widow and William Smith, also a fireman on the S.P.R.R., became enamored of the fair (?) Isabel.  Amadon lived on Chavez street, near Date, and Isabella and her brother Tom Billings, or Brown, lived in the house.  Of late, Forster and Mrs. Amadon have been most shameless in their amours; in fact, poor Henry Amadon was almost a stranger in his own house.  He must have known of these unblushing indecencies, but having two children, that he was so strong that he could not openly denounce their mother, however faithless she might be as a wife.  This showed the noble nature of the man, and it was this trait in his character that endeared him to his associates.  Night after night he was at his place on the engine, braving danger and death, that he might make something for his little ones, and night after night his place, in his home and at his fireside, was usurped by John Forster, one of the meanest hoodlums Los Angeles ever produced.  Forster and Smith were regular habituea of the Amadon mansion, and felt themselves more at home than its master.  In fact, the illicit relations became apparent to the most obtuse.  Forster was brakeman on a train which passed at a certain hour the one on which Smith ran as fireman, when such a colloquy as this would take place: “Well, how’s Isabella?”  “Oh, first-rate.”  “How’s Ella?”  “Has Amadon been around bothering them lately?”  All this talk in the presence of witness on the train, so that Henry Amadon’s home was actually taken away from him by these two men. On the Sunday prior to his death he went over to Anaheim, but his wife had preceded him, accompanied by Forster. They had been at her mother’s house, but learning that Amadon was in town, Mrs. Amadon took refuge with a neighbor, knowing Henry did not like her to go to her mother’s and there he saw her. He returned the same day and she returned on Monday.  Now comes the peculiar part of this peculiarly horrible killing.

Amadon would in the regular order of things have come back on Wednesday, but having been appointed an engineer he was obliged to come back on Tuesday morning to take out the engine in the afternoon.  On Monday, Thomas Brown, or Billings, inquired at the depot and ascertained that Henry would return on Tuesday morning at an early hour.  Henry was returning full of enthusiasm that he had at last got his well-earned promotion to the position of engineer; but what a reception awaited him!  No loving wife with outstretched arms, but a guilty woman masquerading with her paramour.  What was she doing? She was up all night with her sister, dressed in men’s clothes, and at a late hour they were seen in a saloon opposite the new depot, where they took a drink and then started towards their home.  In the saloon Smith was shaking dice for the drinks and Billings and Forster were not far off.  Shortly after, five persons in men’s clothes were seen on Date street, but two of them were women.  At the usual hour Henry C. Amadon jumped off his train on Alameda street and hurried along Date street.  As he passed the group, Mrs. Greenleaf says, “My God!  There’s Henry now—what shall I do?”  Smith, who was with her told her to stand still there, which she did.  Henry turned, saw Smith and saying, “Holloa, Smith, is that you?” shook hands, not recognizing his wife in her disguise.  As he turned from Smith a shot was fired, it is believed by his wife, which went through his heart and lungs. Another below the neck from Forster finished the job.  Billings ran to the house and went to bed, while the women hurried home and divested themselves of their masculine garb and came out shortly afterwards to the scene in their nightdresses.  All this time there was an innocent spectator in the brush watching what he supposed was only a masquerade, but which proved a tragedy.

So Henry C. Amadon met his untimely fate; in the prime of manhood, and full of hope for the future.  Such an act, if done by his wife, at her instigation or by her consent, would almost throw Lucretia Borgia in the shade, so wealthy, so cowardly was it.  Let us hope that the facts will be ascertained and then justice be meted out to the guilty.  Let not murder stalk boldy in the land, but let justice be strong enough to suppress this monster, to protect the innocent and shield the weak.

Los Angeles Times
September 29, 1883 page O-4

The Murder Case

The Four Prisoners Brought Before Justice Ling Yesterday

The Court Room Crowded – The Prisoners Obtain Counsel and Case Adjourned Until Tuesday

At 9 o’clock yesterday morning, Forster and Billings appeared in Justice Ling’s court to be arraigned for the murder of Henry C. Amadon.  The courtroom was crowded with a mixed audience, whose interested was whetted by the horrible atrocity of the crime. Those who did not know the criminals made every effort to get a square look at their features.  Forester is slim and medium height, formerly having the cognomen of “blear-eyed Forster,” on account of the peculiar appearance of his eyes.  He is not an Adonis by any means, but there is no accounting for tastes.  A few years ago he drove his father out of the house, and the latter shortly afterwards died in Phoenix, A.T.  His mother is a large, full-blooded Mexican woman, though Forster shows little trace of that, partaking more of his German father’s complexion.  His education is very limited and was mainly gained on the street—in short he seemed to be a natural born hoodlum.  Billings is shorter than Forster, and got his start out into the world from a notorious house kept by his mother in this city.  Such are the men charged with this terrible crime.

At the hour of opening court District Attorney White dismissed the complaint and Chief of Police Cuddy swore to a new complaint, charging not only those two men, but Mrs. Amadon, the widow of the murdered man, and her sister, Mrs. Lottie Greenleaf, with complicity in the same crime.  On this a warrant was issued, and in about half an hour the Sheriff brought them into Court.  The widow was dressed in black and closely veiled, but her sister, though in mourning, was not veiled.  The two women are of medium height, neither at all good looking, and the younger carrying an insipid expression in her brassy face.  In the face of the older there is a little improvement in good looks, but she could never pose for a Langtry.  They both graduated in the same school as their half-brother, Billings.  During the reading of the complaint all seemed to be deeply impressed by the terrible charge.

The Court informed them that they were entitled to counsel, and for Forster appeared Del Valle & DuPuy and H. T. Gage, Esq.  The women selected Brunson & Wells, of that firm, appeared for them and their brother.  After a consultation the examination was set for next Tuesday and the accused returned to jail.

So ends the first chapter of what will be a noted trial.  A wife, her paramour, her sister and her brother, charged with the deliberate assassination of a devoted husband to the wife and a loving father of her children!  A more atrocious crime can scarcely be imagined, and, no doubt, a thrill of horror went through all as they looked on this quartette. What devil could suggest it to the wife’s thoughts, what wickedness could prompt the others to assist?  A shocked community await the trial with increasing interest and will watch its progress with the greatest sharpness.  Human life is becoming too cheap in Los Angeles, and no one is safe from a class who live on crime.

The plan of the defense is not known, but they are able attorneys and will no doubt make a shrewd defense with all the legal lore they possess.

It can hardly be suicide, though young Billings suggested it when he was running with another man for a policeman.  It can hardly be justifiable homicide, do the trial alone can tell us their plan.

As for the prosecution, nobody knows their plan, except those having the evidence within their grasp.  It is just such a case as one of our city Vidoeqs might make a reputation upon. Rumors are afloat that a certain party has already turned State’s evidence, that he was a silent witness of the assassination and that there were two women, dressed in men’s clothes, who assisted in the deed.  It would be a thing terribly revolting were such the fact.  But the streets are full of rumors, though this is the worst of all.

What the Mother of the Girls Says

Mrs. M. Brown, of Anaheim, sends us the following clipping from the Times:  "The mother of Mrs. Amadon has kept for several years a house of ill-fame at Anaheim, and her daughter was reared in the midst of the most evil associations," accompanied by the annexed letter:

Anaheim, Sept. 28

Mr. Editor - I wish to correct this piece. I raised my children as careful as any one ever did, until they were married, before I ever thought of keeping a house that you say I do. They never had evil associations.  I have always been careful of my children to raise them right, and many a wealthy mother has worse children than I have, and this has nothing to do with the foul murder that has been committed and left the poor woman and children without a protector. Hoping you will correct this for this sake, I am,
Mrs. M. Brown

The above is published for what it is worth.

Los Angeles Times
January 11, 1885 pg 6

MUNSON - In this city, December 20, 1884, S. T. Munson of Yaquima, W. T. [Washington Territory].  Funeral to-day at 2 p.m. from the undertaking parlors of Albert Brown, No. 234 North Main street, under the auspices of the I.O.O.F.  Interment in the I.O.O.F. cemetery

Los Angeles Times
July 16, 1886 - pg. 6

Major J. F. Guirado was buried yesterday in the old City Cemetery, under the auspices of the Knights of Pythias. The funeral was largely attended.

Los Angeles Times
January 30, 1887 - pg. 4
Mrs. Workman Dead

Mrs. Nancy Workman, whose critical sickness had already been noted, died early this morning, at her home in Boyle Heights. She was in her 80th year. Mrs. Workman was the mother of Mayor William H. Workman and of E. H. Workman, and was widely known and respect. The funeral takes place tomorrow at 2 p.m. from the residence, 283 Aliso avenue. She will be buried in the old City Cemetery on the hill.

Los Angeles Times
February 1, 1887 - pg. 5

The funeral of the late Mrs. Workman, mother of Mayor W. H. Workman, took place yesterday and was largely attended by prominent citizens. The remains were interred in the city cemetery on the hill.

Los Angeles Times
May 15, 1889 - pg 2
Gen. Volney E. Howard
End of a Notable Public Career Yesterday
His Death at Santa Monica
A Brief Review of His Career
A Contemporary of S. S. Prentiss
Member of Congress and Judge

Gen. Volney Erskine Howard, one of the oldest and most distinguished citizens of the county, and for many years the leader of the bar in this city, died at Santa Monica yesterday, at the advanced age of 80 years, loved and honored by all who knew him. Gen. Howard retired from private practice about five years ago, since which time he has been but little before the public. The increasing infirmities of age, however, made rapid progress during the past year, and about a month ago he was removed to Santa Monica, where he passed away yesterday.

Volney E. Howard was born in Oxford county, Me., October 29, 1809. His father, Richard Howard, was a farmer, and his mother, Mehitable Root, the daughter of a Universalist minister of some reputation in his state, and both parents were much above the average in culture and education. Young Howard had the usual experience of the New England farmer lad, and at a suitable age he entered Bloomfield Academy, and afterward took a course at the Waterville College. He then studied law with Felix Sprague and E. H. Lambert, at Waterville, and in his 22nd year was offered a partnership by his uncle, N. G. Howard, who was practicing law in Mississippi. This was in 1832, and young Howard at once started out for that State, but on his arrival at his destination, after a long and tedious journey, he found that his uncle had died some weeks previously, and he was thrown on his own resources. After finishing his legal studies he commenced the practice of law at Brandon, and soon occupied a position in the front rank of the ablest bar in the South at that time, composed of such men as Gen. Quitman, S. S. Prentiss, George Poindexter and Robert J. Walker. He was elected to the Legislature in 1836, at which session Robert J. Walker was first elected United States Senator, he taking an active part in that contest. Gen. Howard was a consistent and pronounced Democrat, even at this early stage in his career, and purchased the Mississippian, which, under his able management, became the leading organ of the Democracy in the state, and further increased his fame as a writer and statesman. In 1836 he was selected to carry the electoral vote of the State to Washington, and while there, he married Miss Catharine Elizabeth Goach of Massachusetts, who has been his life-long companion and bore to him a large family of children, 10 in number.

Upon his return from the National capital he was appointed Supreme Court Reporter of the State, a place he filled to the satisfaction of the entire people, and in 1840 he ran for Congress as the nominee of the Democratic party, but was defeated by George Tucker, the Whig candidate, although he ran 1000 votes ahead of his ticket.

When in the Legislature he opposed the Union Bank Bill, and was afterward chosen by the Democracy to answer S. S. Prentiss in the discussion of the currency question at Jackson, in which he held his own against the leading orator and statesman [can’t read].

When the Union Bank failed, Gen. Howard fearlessly criticized in his paper both the officers of the Bank and their management, which led to a duel between himself and Hiram Runnels, the president of the institution, Runnels being the challenging party. The meeting took place at Columbus, and Gen. Howard was wounded, the bullet striking a rib and glancing around the breast.

When the question of repudiation came up Gen. Howard opposed it strongly, and when it was carried he moved his family to New Orleans and commence the practice of law, but soon removed to Texas, which was then on the point of being admitted into the Union, first setting in San Antonio, and being elected a member of the first Constitutional Convention of the State. He afterward removed to Austin, where he was joined by his family. Gen Howard’s career at the Texas bar was a notable one, and honors crowded fast upon him. He was elected to Congress in 1850 and reelected in 1862, and occupied a prominent position in the House on account of the stand his State had taken on the Clay compromise measures.

On account of his familiarity with the Spanish grant law, Gen. Howard, in 1853, was appointed United States Attorney to the Land Commission to settle titles in California, and came to this State in this capacity. He resigned, however, in a few months, and began the practice of law in San Francisco, at once taking a high position at the bar of that city. He enjoyed a lucrative practice up to 1856, when the vigilante troubles arose, when Gen. Howard took a strong stand in favor of the supremacy of the law, and was appointed by the Governor to the command of the State militia to put down the trouble. In this he was unsuccessful, and Gen. Howard removed to Sacramento, where he remained until 1858, when he returned to Oakland, and resumed the practice of law. But the part he had taken against the vigilantes had made him many enemies in San Francisco, and in 1881, Gen Howard removed to Los Angeles, where he has since resided.

From 1861 to 1870 Gen. Howard served several terms as District Attorney, and in 1878-’79 was a member of the Constitutional Convention. At the close of the session when he was taken down with pneumonia, and over-exerted himself during the campaign, before he had fully recovered, he had a relapse, and never again recovered his natural robust health.

Gen. Howard was elected Judge of the Superior Court of Los Angeles in that year (having declined the nomination for the Supreme Bench) and served out his term. This was the last public office he ever held, his health being too feeble to continue in active service, and he retired, taking no further part in either business or politics.

This morning at 11 o’clock there will be a meeting of the bar of this city in Judge Cheney’s courtroom for the purpose of arranging for the funeral of Judge Howard.

Los Angeles Times
May 16, 1889 - pg 2

...The remains will arrive from Santa Monica this morning at 11:45 o'clock. They will be met at the Wolfskill depot by members of the bar and friends. From the depot they will be taken to St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Olive street, where services will be held, and then the procession will move to Fort Hill Cemetery, the place of interment...

Los Angeles Times
December 6, 1889 - pg. 6

ANDERSON - In this city, Thursday, December 5, 1889, David W. Anderson, aged 23 years. Funeral from the family residence, 541 South Grand avenue, Sunday December 8, 1889 at 2 o'clock p.m. Interment at the City Cemetery. Friends and acquaintances are invited to attend without further notice.

Los Angeles Times
May 17, 1889, pg 2

Gen. Howard 
Last Rites Appropriately Paid Him

Yesterday the funeral of the late Gen. Volney E. Howard, who died at Santa Monica last Tuesday, took place. In the morning the pall-bearers, consisting of the follow-named gentlemen left for Santa Monica to escort the remains to this city:  Hon. S. M. White, Judge A. W. Hutton, Hon. R. F. del Valle, Col. George H. Smith, Col. G. Wiley Wells, Gen. John Mansfield, Judge J. D. Bicknell and Judge J. Brousseau.  They returned at 12 o'clock and were met at the Wolfskill depot by a number of friends of the deceased and members of the bar.  The funeral party entered carriages and were driven to St. Paul's Church, which was handsomely draped with flowers and evergreens, where the funeral service was conducted by Rev. Dr. Judd.  The choir sang "Nearer, My God, to Thee," when the rector read a chapter from the Bible and the choir sang "Rock of Ages" and "Thy Will be Done."

Dr. Judd then stated that it is not the custom in his church to eulogize the dead, but upon this occasion he could not refrain from making a few remarks in honor of the deceased, as he was with him during his last illness. Hen he paid a high tribute to the General, and in feeling terms told how he had awaited his end without fear.

After the ceremony the body was placed in the sacred edifice, and a last look was taken at the face that had been loved so well.  The casket--a most beautiful one--was profusely decorated with floral offerings.  The contributions consisted of a bank of lilies, a pillow of roses and violets and an anchor of the same, and a large sheaf of wheat.  The large congregation then filed out of the church and formed into a long procession, which slowly wended its way to the cemetery on Fort Hill, where the interment took place.

Los Angeles Times
April 25, 1890 pg 5

Board of Health
Disinterments Forbidden in Odd Fellows' Cemetery

At a special meeting of the Board of Health last evening, Drs. Davisson, Hagan and Wright and Health Officer MacGowan were present...

Health Officer MacGowan referred to the complaints in reference to the exhuming of dead bodies in the Odd Fellows Cemetery on Fort Hill, and in order to fully explain the matter, read the following permit, which he granted the Odd Fellows' Association on March 11 last:

In accordance with the authorization of the Board of Health at its session of February 20, 1890, I hereby grant you a formal permission for the removal of the bodies of the dead from the Odd Fellows' Cemetery on Fort Hill to the new Odd Fellows' Cemetery beyond the city limits.  This permit must, in all cases of removal, accompany the bodies to their destination.  It is understood that all removals must take place at night, and be concluded in a manner not offensive to the senses of sight and smell.  It is further understood that the <illegible> removed is to reported at the health office in writing within 24 hours after the date of its removal, under the penalty of the revoking of this permission and prosecution of the association under the general health and burial laws of this state.

Yesterday the Health Officer issued the following order, revoking the above:

Disinterments are forbidden until the close of the schools.  All bodies in the future removed from the graves in the old cemetery to the new cemetery must be disinterred during the time of the vacation of these schools.

On motion of Dr. Davisson a resolution was passed that it was the sense of the board that the removal of the bodies was in open violation of the conditions of the permission granted by the Health Officer, by orders of the board...

"Sublett's Heirs - A Suit to Recover Los Angeles Property is Brewing"
Los Angeles Times
September 14, 1895 pg 1          

(Regular Associated Press Report)
ST. LOUIS (MO.) Sept. 13 - It is stated that suits to recover property valued at $27,000,000 located in Los Angeles., Cal, Jackson and Cole Counties, Mo., and in St. Louis will be filed in the near future by Attorney Thomas B. Crews of St. Louis on behalf of the heirs of Pinkney W. Sublett, deceased, formerly of this city. The property in this city consists of 250 acres in the western part of town as Sublett's division.

"The Sublett Claims - The Family Known by Residents of This City"
Los Angeles Times
September 15, 1895 - age 15

Inquiry was made yesterday by a Times reporter in reference to the dispatch from St. Louis, Mo., stating that suits had been instituted by the hairs of Pinkey W. Sublett to recover property in this city and elsewhere valued at $27,000,000.

W. J. A. Smith, a deputy in the City Assessor's office, said he formerly knew of the Subletts in St. Louis, but did not know of any of them ever having been here.  It was about thirty years ago that he knew of them in St. Louis.

Eugene Riggin, the real estate man, said he remembered Solomon P. Sublett, who lived at Chettenham, a suburb of St. Louis, on the Missouri and Pacific Railway, a good many years ago.  Sublett told Riggin about having a brother in California who had large interests in mines and lands.  He came to California in 1849.

Solomon P. Sublett, Mr. Riggin said, has since died, but he thinks the brother of which Sublett told him was the Pinkey W. Sublett mentioned in the dispatch.

At the County Clerk's office it was said that no papers in the suit in question had been filed as would have to be done if suit were prosecuted for the recovery of property in this city.

At the City Hall - Fort Hill Cemetery
February 20, 1896 - pg 8

A Landmark Councilman Snyder Would Like to Erase.

Councilman Snyder of the Second Ward finds himself in a peculiar predicament by reason of a certain cemetery, of uncertain age, that is a landmark in the portion of the city represented by the genial member from the Second Ward.

In the early days, when Los Angeles was but a pueblo, and had not the modern improvements that now entitle her to distinction as a full-fledge metropolis, the handful of Americans that lived in the place established a burial ground on a sightly elevation within what is at this time the geographical center of the city. On Fort Hill, between Castelar street and Bellevue avenue, land was purchased, inclosed with a tasteful fence and, as the years passed, became the habitation of the dead, the fathers, mothers and friends of many of the men who are now predominantly identified with the life of Los Angeles.

The old cemetery is deserted now.  The graves are neglected, the flowers droop and wither upon the ground, and the moldy headboards tell the melancholy story of death.  For years a watchman was employed by those who had interested in the graveyard, and the place was kept in order, its sanctity preserved and traditions cherished.

But it has received no care of late, save the occasional attention of a bereaved man or woman, who might decorate the grave of a friend or relative from no other impulse than love and affection for the departed.  But the cemetery has suffered from worse than neglect.  Its sequestered situation has made it the haunt and rendezvous of vile persons, who have not scrupled to profane the place with orgies too filthy to allow of description.  Men and women, and the young of both sexes, frequent the cemetery, where there is no one to molest them, and have succeeded in transforming what was once a sacred and hallowed spot to a retreat that is better than a place of assignation.

This state of affairs was taken cognizance of recently by Councilman Snyder, in whose ward the cemetery is located, and he at once cast about to find a remedy for the trouble.  After some searching of law books, an enactment of the Legislature made in 1893 was discovered, which seemed to promise relief from the nuisance.  The enactment referred to reads as follows:

"The City Council of any city in the State having a population of more than 1500 and not exceeding 100,000 may, by ordinance duly passed and under such lawful rules and regulations which it may adopt, provide for the exhuming, taking up and removal from cemeteries within the boundary lines of such city, or from cemeteries owned and controlled by such city that may have been located within its boundaries (and in which such cemeteries no interments of human remains have been made for a period of not less than two years) of all the human remains interred in such cemeteries."

It will be seen that by this statute power is vested in the City Council to remove bodies interred in a cemetery, when two years has elapsed from the date of the last interment.  Councilman Snyder at once introduced a motion in the Council instructing the City Attorney to present an ordinance providing for the removal of bodies in the Fort Hill Cemetery.  The motion was adopted and the instructions forwarded to the City Attorney.  This took place in December of last year, but no report to the Council in the matter has ever been made by the City Attorney.

Los Angeles Times
July 21, 1901 pg B3

Fought a Duel in a Cemetery
Queerest of all the Early-Morning Shooting Scrapes

Two Men Drove Up to the Old Masonic Burying Ground in a Hack, Jumped Out and Blazed Away at Each Other

The mysterious gun has again gone off in the troubled air of early morning.  This time a grewsome [sic] setting intensifies the interest in the shooting, and the mystery is the deepest yet, for not even the man with the wound can be found.  It has just leaked out that a duel took place last Wednesday morning at 5:30 o'clock in the old Masonic Cemetery that occupies the corner just north of the Los Angeles High School.

The only witness who will tell what he saw is a young man named Morris Stephenson.  At the time stated he was delivering papers on Hill street, when a one-horse hack drove up to the gate of the cemetery and three men hurridly alighted and disappeared into the ghoulish shades beyond.  In a few minutes two shots rang out, and almost immediately two of the men ran back to the carriage, one mounting, coatless, beside the driver. The rig disappeared down Hill street.  The third man, who never reappeared, is the heart of the mystery.  What became of him?  Who was he?

A vest that lies in a secluded corner, the presence of which the surrounding inhabitants who pass through the graveyard every day cannot explain, is the only evidence that anything living has lately invaded the weed-grown hamlet of the dead.

On the western edge of the cemetery, surrounded by sunken graves, is the house of a Mexican family.  They resolutely keep their mouths closed, and disclaim any knowledge of the affair.  If a wounded man escaped without coming out by Hill street, he must have made his way directly in front of his house and out by the way of Stephens Place.

The boy who saw the men get out of the hack did not stay in the open to see the finish but, as he expresses it, "took a sneak behind a greenhouse and stayed sneaked till it was done."  So the puzzle probably will remain unsolved.

Los Angeles Times
September 20, 1902 pg A3

Seeking Spanish Gold
Fortune Hunters Again Prospecting Old Fort Hill Cemetery for Alleged Buried Treasure

If gold can be had simply for digging down in the gravelly earth a few feet, who wouldn't make the effort?  So think the fortune-hunters, whose imaginations have been fired by prospects of recovering the buried gold and treasures of an old Spanish family, and last night they resumed their work in the old city cemetery on Fort Hill.

The story goes that in the early days a wealthy Spanish family, during an invasion of enemies, gathered its wealth of gold and jewels and buried them in the old cemetery grounds.  A diagram of the location was made and passed from the original treasure-hiders to other relatives, and the obliteration of guiding marks caused them to lose the location of the wealth.

It is said the gold was never recovered, and only a few weeks ago much excitement was created by efforts of parties to locate the place.  A hole about fourteen feet deep was dug, and great crowds of people gathered for several nights to watch proceedings, until the whole business became a nuisance, and the police ordered the digging discontinued.

Last night, just after dusk, the work was resumed.  A mysterious stranger from Ventura, who is on familiar terms with the spirit world, and who also claims to have skill with the divining rod, has been down here during the week, going over the ground, and at last located the proper spot to dig. It is about twelve feet northeast of the place where the last effort to find the fortune was made; and is in the alley at the south side of the High School.

The plan to being work last night was kept strictly on the q.t. and the only parties witnessing the operation besides the principals and the Italian digger, were Special Policeman Jerry Reinsen and a Times reporter.  Joe Pieprich was in charge of the work, but claims to be acting for other parties, who have great faith in the powers of the mysterious Ventura expert and his spirit friends and divining rod.

Pieprich was accompanied by another man who said he came there to see that his friend, the digger, got along all right; but who remarked, incidentally, that the real location of the buried gold was several feet farther west in the cemetery.  However, as they couldn’t get a permit to dig there, he supposed they might as well go ahead where they had a chance.

Work was kept up until 10:30, when a hole about six feet deep and four feet wide had been excavated, with only sand and gravel coming to light.  The hole was covered and operations were suspended until tonight.

This is the fourth attempt to locate the alleged fortune.  With many of the Spanish people the belief is strong that a large amount of wealth was actually buried on Fort Hill, but the history of it becomes hazy when investigated.

Los Angeles Times
March 29, 1904 pg A4

Lot for High School

Purchase of Masonic Cemetery Property is Authorized by the Board

The purchase of High School purposes of property lying northeasterly from and adjoining the High School grounds was practically authorized by the Board of Education at its meeting last night.

By a resolution offered by Mr. Page and adopted by the Board, it is proposed by buy the land for $15,000 from the Masonic Cemetery Association. The lot lies on the westerly, or northwesterly, side of Hill street, which opens that thoroughfare into Bellvue avenue.  The lot is about 180 x 300 feet.  It lies nearly level with the present High School grounds.

One of the conditions of the purchase is that all the bodies shall be removed from the cemetery.  The deal is made dependant on a number of other provisions of a technical character...

Los Angeles Times
March 2, 1905 pg II-1

Men Faint at their Jobs
Removing Bodies from Old Masonic Cemetery

Hard to Get Hands to Keep the Work A-going

Morbidly Curious Throng is Attracted to Scene

In the presence of hundreds of High School students, whose schools align each side of the grounds, a grewsome [sic] sight was witnessed yesterday at the old Masonic Cemetery on North Hill street.  It was the disinterment of the bodies of deceased Masons and members of their families, preparatory to removing them to the new Masonic Cemetery east of the city.

Many morbidly curious people visited the cemetery and watched the process of unearthing the bodies.  The remains were taken out of the coffins and placed in redwood boxes, and the names at once marked on the boxes, which were stacked up like cordwood to await transportation to the new resting places.

In many cases the caskets had almost disappeared and but little remained of the bodies; but in other graves, even though there have been no burials there since 1888, bodies were fairly well preserved, and the caskets were in a remarkable state of preservation.

An unusual condition was found in several of the graves, which were thoroughly saturated with water, the coffins being filled, and the seepage from the sidewalks making such a pool that it was necessary to bail out the graves before the bodies could be taken up.  Adjoining these were graves that when opened showed dry soil and the coffins intact.  A possible explanation is that the graves so wet may have been made during the rainy season, and while the soil was loose the water saturated them, finally seeping into the coffins and caskets, where it was retained;  while the other graves were made during the dry season and the ground had time to settle before the rains fell.

The work of removal has been placed by the Masons in charge of a committee composed of A. M. Bragg, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the cemetery association, John King and Charles Eckelstrom. These men are personally supervising the work and are carefully checking up each grave and disinterment.

Too Grewsome

It has been found difficult to get workmen to do the labor required, because of its peculiarly distressing character.  Finally the committee secured a gang of Slavonians; but even these men cannot become inured to the scenes they have to witness, and daily they are quitting the work.  The gathering up of human bones, patches of hair, bits and shreds of grave clothes, and the seeking of missing members in the muck and mire of the watery graves is enough to try the hardiest and most unsensitive of men. Yesterday several man left their work when a particularly distressing case came to light, and some were so overcome that they were laid out on the grass.

The records show that there were 170 interments in the old cemetery.  Of these twenty-two had been moved up to yesterday, and the work of yesterday resulted in the disinterment of fifteen bodies.  The moving will be hurried along as rapidly as possible, and it is expected that the last grave beside the High School will be relieved of its occupants and refilled with earth within two weeks.

The new cemetery consists of thirty acres, purchased of K. C. Wells of Riverside, and lying just to the west of the Jewish cemetery, at the junction of the Downey and Whittier county roads. It is about three miles from the easterly end of First street. The tract was purchased for $(textmissing-remainder of article illegible)

Los Angeles Times
July 3, 1941 - page A4

First "Fourth" in Los Angeles

The Fourth of July celebration was 71 years coming to Los Angeles – almost three-quarters of a century after the ratification of the Declaration of Independence at Philadelphia in 1776.

The first patriotic hurrah of the sort was in 1847 at the close of the Mexican War, when, by treaty, Los Angeles and the rest of California became United States territory.

Col. J. D. Stevenson, commanding officer in this section, gave orders for a fitting celebration, and there was a huge gathering on that part of the hill now above the present N. Broadway street-car tunnel.

Two 75-foot flagpoles, brought by oxcart from the San Bernardino Mountains, were spliced together and the American Flag, with 28 stars, was hoisted to the 150-foot height by Lieut. J. W. Davidson, commanding a detachment of the 1st Regiment of United States Dragoons, and in charge of the day’s program.

Big Doings

Also present were a detachment of the New York Regiment of Mexican War Volunteers who had come around the Horn in a clipper ship to take part in a Mexican War and a part of the Mormon Battalion quartered here.  All were about to be disbanded.

Every man, woman and child within 50 miles of the pueblo was on hand to thrill to the cannon salutes and to hear the Declaration of Independence read in English and Spanish. During the speeches, bugle calls, musket rattlery and drill exhibitions, the hill, up to that time known simply as “the hill” or Cemetery Hill, because of an ancient graveyard on the western slope, was formally dedicated at Ft. Moore Hill in honor of Benjamin D. Moore, the dragoon captain who a little while before had been killed in the San Pascual skirmish near the present town of Escondido.  It has been the name for almost 100 years.

Fear of Trouble

After the first celebration, July 4 was a big day each year until the period preceding and during the American Civil War.

Because of the many Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and other southern people here, Los Angeles was a “secessionist hotbed.”

Mayor Damien Marchessault (after whom the Plaza street is named), Civil War-time Mayor and himself a New Orleans man, “cracked down” on all July 4 commemorations, announcing several times from a public platform that he was afraid of disorder between northern and southern sympathizers.

Los Angeles Times
May 12, 1947, pg A1

Ft. Moore Hill Cemetery’s Last Bodies Removed

Another chapter in Southland history has been closed.

The last bodies have been removed from the Ft. Moore Hill site which was once the cemetery for the hamlet of Los Angeles.

Arol Burns, land agent for the Board of Education, who for 10 years has carried on the work of predecessors in obtaining deeds and consents from descendants, disclosed that the remains of four persons recently were removed from a vault behind what is now the board’s headquarters on N. Hill St.

Lengthy Travels

“One was that of an unidentified child,” said Burns, who has traveled throughout the State obtaining necessary clearances from family members.

That the remains of Robert Snell Carlyle, 1827-1865, were in the brick structure known because a metal plaque with his name showed behind the iron-grilled door.  Final action permitted the findings that other metal caskets contained the remains of Hanbury MacDougall, about 4; and William J. Broderick Jr., who died at birth.

Removed to Crypts.

All remains were removed to crypts in Rose Hills Memorial Park, Whittier.

The vault was the last monument condemned while graves and tombstones were gradually moved from the site which housed Los Angeles High School, Central Junior High School and the present administrative headquarters.

The space is needed for a new building to be erected because a portion of the administrative area is in the pathway of the central freeway project.


Los Angeles Times
April 1, 2001

Ft. Moore Hill’s History a Matter of Life and Death

…During the 1850s, when justice was often administered by a mob and a rope, drugstore owner and former state Sen. Alexander W. Hope resigned as sheriff so he could organize the Los Angeles Rangers, a fraternal group of lawmen who would eventually become the basis of the LAPD. When Hope died unexpectedly from illness in 1856, he was buried in "the cemetery on the hill." Hope Street was named in his honor.

The next year, the hill began doing double duty, as a gallows conveniently located on Cemetery Hill. The notorious bandit Juan Flores and his gang had murdered Los Angeles Sheriff James R. Barton and three of his five-man posse. A month later, on Valentine's Day, 1857, before a crowd of 3,000 Angelenos--more than half the county's population--the 22-year-old Flores was hanged, slowly strangling to death. It was a hangman's double feature: no sooner had Flores been cut down than Miguel Blanco, a thief who had robbed and stabbed a U.S. Army officer, was strung up.

The man who succeeded Barton as sheriff, William Getman, was killed the next year in a shootout at a livery stable. The funeral wagon carrying his mahogany coffin had to inch carefully up the steep bluff on Cemetery Avenue, where carriages had overturned…

In the 1870’s…R.V. Peabody's grave was surrounded by an ornate iron railing, while Sir John Christopher Wagner's epitaph read: "He has fought the good fight. He has kept the faith.

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Los Angeles City Cemetery

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