Version 2012 Jul 17

Juan Bandini was the first individual of European descent to own land in present-day Eastvale – or, for that matter, in any part of what is now northwestern Riverside County. He called this combination of his two land grants along the Santa Ana River by the informal name “Rancho San Juan del Rίo.” The grants were officially “Rancho Jurupa” (1838) and “Rancho El Rincon” (1839). The two Mexican-era California ranchos together approximated an earlier “Rancho Jurupa” from the Spanish Mission era (1770-1820), which had been one of several Ranchos attached to Mission San Gabriel (see Lech, “Old Roads.”)

This 1889 map (courtesy of Steve Lech and Kim Jarrell Johnson) reflects later “patented titles” for the grants, i.e., deeds confirmed by the US Land Commission some 30 years after California was transferred from Mexican to American jurisdiction in accordance with the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

The Rancho Jurupa grant title was confirmed in two parts during the late 1870s. The map shows the western part of Rancho Jurupa, identified as the Jurupa-Stearns grant, consisting of 33,819 acres or 85% of Rancho Jurupa, which was patented in May 1879 to Bandini’s son-in-law Abel Stearns (who had died in 1871). The remainder, identified as the Jurupa-Robidoux grant, lay farther east on both sides of the river including downtown Riverside, consisting of 6,750 acres or 15% of Rancho Jurupa patented in December 1876 to Louis Roubidoux who had purchased it from Bandini indirectly, via short-term intermediate owners, about 1850 (see Roubidoux Adobe ).

The map legend “San Bernardino Co” reflects the original 1889 map date, which preceded the formation of Riverside County in 1893. Lands from both parts of the Rancho Jurupa grant, except for the northeast corner, became part of the new county.

At the west end of this composite map, outlined in green, is Rancho El Rincon (4,431 acres). This 1839 grant, which had been sold (indirectly) to Bernardo Yorba about 1845, was patented to him in November 1879. Note that a small portion of public land remained between the two Ranchos.

I have placed two red asterisks on this map. One marks a site on the bluff north of the river and west of Hamner Ave, where in March 1933 local historian Janet Gould established a marker (vandalized a few months later), commemorating Bandini’s first adobe residence on his grant . The other red asterisk, near the middle of Rancho El Rincon, marks the “Bandini-Cota Adobe” which was occupied by Yorba heirs for more than 80 years, and whose ruins can still be detected on modern satellite maps of Prado Basin.

The map below shows these same Bandini Ranchos, overlaid on a 2011 Google map of the Southern California “Inland Empire.” The central part of Bandini’s Rancho Jurupa (as patented to both Stearns and Roubidoux), plus additional land north of Bellegrave, has now been incorporated into the city of Jurupa Valley, and the part of Rancho Jurupa west of Ontario Freeway (I-15) now constitutes most of the city of Eastvale. The southern part of Rancho El Rincon is now in the Prado Flood Control Basin, and most of this (including the Bandini-Cota Adobe) is in unincorporated Riverside County. The northern part of El Rincon is in San Bernardino County. The diagonal green line segment at the upper left corner of El Rincon is now Pine Avenue, about a half mile south of the (extended) Bellegrave alignment.

Site of First Bandini Adobe on Rancho Jurupa

Puntney writes (in Brumgardt collection, “Historical Portraits of Riverside County,” Historical Commission Press, Riverside, 1977, p 4):

“On December 5, 1838, Luis Arenas, first alcalde of Los Angeles, rode out to the new rancho to supervise the official survey of its boundaries. … The southern boundary ran for thirty thousand varas [southwestward] along the Santa Ana River to ‘the point of the same tableland where Mr. Bandini had established the house and where the river makes a turn.’

Requirements for confirming a Mexican land grant included establishing a residence, and the house on the tableland was probably an adobe residence constructed during the ten weeks since Governor Alvarado’s affirmation of Bandini’s grant on September 28.

But speculation surrounds the question of whether to identify this house, which Bandini had “established” before December 1838, with a House indicated on Hancock’s 1856 U. S. survey map (only 18 years later), at a clearly defined location on the bluffs north of the river, within the present-day city of Eastvale and just west of Hamner Avenue (Greenwood and Foster, “Context and Evaluation of Historical Sites in the Prado Basin” U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles, 1990, p 48).

The earliest reference I have found, that describes Bandini’s residence on Rancho Jurupa as being “west of Hamner,” is in “Historic Spots in California: The Southern Counties,” by H.E. Rensch and E.G. Rensch (Stanford Univ Press, 1932 – copy located at California Room, Martin Luther King Jr Library, San Jose CA), page 131:

“Juan Bandini was one of the first white settlers in Riverside County, and in 1839 he built his first home on the Rancho Jurupa. The site was on a high bluff along the northwest side of the Santa Ana River, about one thousand yards west of Hamner Boulevard – the road from Norco to Mira Loma. The old adobe has long since disappeared.”

Source notes at the end of the chapter in “Historic Spots in California” include the citation: “Notes on the Historical Spots of the Country Around Corona (MS 1930)” by Janet Williams Gould, but I have not located this Gould 1930 manuscript.

Similar descriptions have appeared in many later publications, including several editions of “Historic Spots in California.” Later documents often describe the site as 1000 feet west of Hamner – due perhaps to either a transcription error or an update. Tom Patterson in “Landmarks of Riverside” (1964, p 17) adds that “its melted walls were traceable as late as 1928.”

[“Juan Bandini, White Hat”]

Juan Bandini (1800-1859)

History of San Diego (1908), page 164

by William Ellsworth Smythe

Any sketch of this interesting figure in the early life of San Diego must necessarily fail to do him entire justice. For nearly forty years he was an honored citizen of California, saw it pass from Spanish into Mexican hands, and lived to take a prominent part in wresting it from the control of the Californians and making it an American State. Through all the intervening days of struggle, he took an important part, and narrowly missed the highest political honors of his time. Estimates of his character and services vary somewhat and have been influenced by the financial misfortunes which pursued him. But it seems clear that his long residence and eminent public services in San Diego entitled him to be considered the first Spanish citizen of his day.

The name of Bandini is not originally Spanish, but Italian, the family originating in Italy and there being a family of Bandinis of princely rank now in existence in Italy.

He was the son of Jose Bandini, who was a native of Andalusia. He was born at Lima in 1800, and received his education there. His father came to California as master of a Spanish trading vessel in 1819 and 1821, and it is possible Juan was with him. The father took an active part in the Mexican revolution and was made a captain. Soon after peace came, the father and son came to San Diego and built a house. His public services began in 1827-8 as a member of the assembly, and from 1828 to ‘31 he was sub-comisario of revenues. His house at San Diego, which is still standing in a good state of preservation, was erected in 1829. In 1830 he was chosen substitute congressman. In 1831 he took a leading part in the revolt against Governor Victoria, as related elsewhere. In 1832, he was appointed comisario principal ad interim, but Victoria refused to recognize his authority outside San Diego, and he soon resigned. In 1833 he went to Mexico as congressman and returned the following year as Vice-President of the Hijar colonization company and inspector of customs for California. His elaborate entertainment of Hijar has been alluded to. The colonization scheme was a failure, however. The California officials also refused to recognize his authority over the customs and brought a counter charge of smuggling which they succeeded in substantiating, technically, at least.

These failures of his hopes were a severe blow to Bandini, from which he never fully recovered. In 1836-7-8 he was the leading spirit in the opposition to Governor Alvarado and on one occasion, at least, had the satisfaction of a great public reception when the whole population of San Diego turned out to meet him on his return from the capture of Los Angeles, in 1837. His return at this time was due to Indian troubles. He was the owner of the Tecate rancho on the Mexican border, which was pillaged by the hostiles and the family reduced to want. But peace having been made, Alvarado made him administrator of the San Gabriel Mission, and he was also granted the Jurupa, Rincon, and Cajon de Muscapiabe ranchos, besides land at San Juan Capistrano. He held other offices, but continued to oppose Alvarado and was present with troops at the battle of Las Flores, in 1838. On Christmas night, 1838, while the Pastorela was being performed at his house, all the prominent citizens of San Diego being present, the house was surrounded by General Castro, acting under Alvarado’s orders, and the two Picos and Juan Ortega taken prisoners. Bandini was absent at this time, and thus escaped arrest.

In 1845-6 he was Governor Pico’s secretary and supported his administration. After the Mexican War began, however, he adhered to the American cause and rendered valuable services. He furnished supplies for the troops, and did everything in his power to aid them

In 1847 he was a member of the legislative council, and in 1848, alcalde. On April 1, 1850, he appears as an elector at San Diego, and was elected treasurer, but declined to serve. In this year he was keeping a store at San Diego, and also erected a large building for a hotel, the Gila House, which is said to have cost $25,000. Soon after this he removed to a rancho which had been granted him in Mexico and resumed his Mexican citizenship. Here he took some part in politics, and was a supporter of Milendres, and had to quit the country with his belongings, in 1855. He died at Los Angeles, whither he had gone for treatment, in November, 1859.

[See Juan Bandini Descendants chart below.] His first wife was Dolores, daughter of Captain Jose M. Estudillo, and their children were: Arcadia, who married Abel Stearns and afterward Colonel Robert L. Baker. She lives at Santa Monica and Los Angeles. Ysidora, who was born September 23, 1829, was married to Cave J. Couts, died May 24, 1897, and is buried at San Diego. Josefa, who was married to Pedro C. Carillo, who was alcalde and a member of California’s first legislature in 1847. Jose Maria, who married Teresa, daughter of Santiago Arguello; and Juanito.

His second wife was Refugia, daughter of Santiago Arguello (a sister of his son Jose Maria’s wife). They had: Juan de la Cruz, Alfredo, Arturo, and two daughters, one of whom, Dolores, was married to Charles R. Johnson, and the other, Victoria, (Chata), to Dr. James B. Winston and lives in Los Angeles.

Bandini’s daughters were famous for their beauty. All his family are in comfortable circumstances, and several are wealthy. They live principally in Southern California, have married well, and are much respected citizens.

Perhaps the story of Bandini’s personal appearance and characteristics can best be told by a few extracts from writers who knew him. Dana, whose opinion of Californians was intelligent, if not always sympathetic, saw him on a voyage from Monterey to Santa Barbara in January, 1836, and writes thus:

“Among our passengers was a young man who was the best representation of a decayed gentleman I had ever seen. He was of the aristocracy of the country, his family being of pure Spanish blood, and once of great importance in Mexico. His father had been governor of the province [this is an error] and having amassed a large property settled at San Diego. His son was sent to Mexico where he received the best education, and went into the first society of the capital. Misfortune, extravagance, and the want of funds soon ate the estate up and Don Juan Bandini returned from Mexico accomplished, poor, and proud, and without any office or occupation, to lead the life of most young men of the better families-dissolute and extravagant when the means were at hand. He had a slight and elegant figure, moved gracefully, danced and waltzed beautifully, spoke the best of Castilian, with a pleasant and refined voice and accent, and had throughout the bearing of a man of high birth and figure.”

Upon the arrival at Santa Barbara, Bandini danced at the wedding of Alfred Robinson and Señorita de la Guerra y Noriega, concerning which Dana says: “A great deal has been said about our friend Don Juan Bandini; and when he did appear, which was toward the close of the evening, he certainly gave us the most graceful dancing that I had ever seen. He was dressed in white pantaloons, neatly made, a short jacket of dark silk gaily figured, white stockings and thin morocco slippers upon his very small feet.”

Lieutenant Derby was well acquainted with the name and fame of Don Juan, and in his first letter from San Diego, in 1853, he pauses in his fooling long enough to write: “San Diego is the residence of Don Juan Bandini, whose mansion fronts on one side of the plaza. He is well known to the early settlers of California as a gentleman of distinguished politeness and hospitality. His wife and daughters are among the most beautiful and accomplished ladies of our State.”

Davis bears testimony to Bandini’s worth. “He was,” he says, “a man of decided ability and fine character.”

Bancroft admits that he was one of the most prominent men of his time in California, of fair abilities and education, a charming public speaker, a fluent writer, and personally much beloved. He thinks, however, that in the larger fields of statesmanship he fell somewhat short-an estimate which is one of the penalties paid by those who, whatever their ability or deserts, fail of the largest success.

There is also contemporary testimony to the fact that Don Juan possessed a gift of sardonic humor and was somewhat given to sarcasm.


[Old Town, San Diego]

Born in Peru, Juan Bandini came to California with his father, master of a trading vessel, in 1819. He became a Mexican citizen and son-in-law to Jose Maria Estudillo in 1822. La Casa de Bandini was completed in 1829 and soon became the social center of Old Town.

Juan Bandini held various offices during the Mexican regime. When Americans took over, he supplied them with horses and supplies from his rancho. In the early 1850s, Bandini was forced to sell his home because of financial losses. Alfred Seeley purchased the crumbling home in 1869, added a second story and opened the building as the Cosmopolitan Hotel. Later the building was used as a store, pickle factory and motel annex, and now hosts a Mexican restaurant.

[“Juan Bandini, Black Hat”]

The Bandini Family

Journal of San Diego History 1969, Vol. 15, No. 1

by Patricia Baker [Patricia Baker is a senior at the San Diego College for Women. She is a history major, interested in the old families in Californian history.]

In Florence on Sunday, April 26, 1478, a “young Florentine coxcomb” murdered Guilliano Medici, the brother of Florence’s ruler, Lorenzo Medici. Several months later this assassin was executed. The culprit? Bernardo Bandini.

Four centuries later, in December of 1818, José Bandini, a native of Andulacia, Spain, a lieutenant of the Spanish vessel, “Nymphia,” at the Battle of Trafalgar, transported troops on his ship, “Reina de Los Angeles,” to Monterey to defend the city against the attack of the pirate, Bouchard.

On November 29, 1831, just thirteen years later, José’s son, Juan, who had been born in San Marcos de Arica, Peru, on October 4, 1800, issued a pronunciamiento, denouncing his allegiance to Victoria, the Mexican governor of California,

In his pronunciamiento, Bandini stated: “Let the rights of the citizens be born anew; let liberty spring up from the ashes of oppression, and perish the depotism that has suffocated our security.” That night Bandini and fourteen other San Diegans arrested Captain Argüello, Lieutenant Valle and Portilla and seized the presidio. Bandini said of that night: “I presented my apology to Captain Argüello playing cards with Lt. Valle, then a pair of pistols and marched them off to prison where they found their commandant, Portilla, had preceded them.”

Governor Victoria marched south to quell this uprising. Victoria’s little army and the Bandini - led rebels met near the Cahuenga Pass on December 6, 1831. Victoria was wounded. Following this battle, Victoria resigned his post as governor and retired to the mission at San Gabriel to recover. On January 17, 1832, he sailed to Mexico. California was rid of an uncongenial governor.

Wherever the Bandinis’ appeared, revolution followed. Juan seems to have inherited the qualities of his fifteenth century counterpart, Bernardo Bandini. At every meeting, revolt, or conspiracy Juan Bandini was one of the leaders. Almost any reason was sufficient for Juan to incite revolt.

Victoria’s refusal to call the disputación had sparked the revolt of 1831. A deeper reason was Victoria’s refusal to secularize the Missions. Bandini pressured the next governor, José Figueroa, until he had issued a decree on August 9, 1834 that the Franciscans would be deprived of the management of the land and the Indians. Figueroa had initially opposed this secularization, for he held that “the Indians were incapable of managing their affairs in any orderly way” and that they “had no sense of the value of property, and no wish to possess it for any reason except for gambling.”

Because of his part in the secularization movement, Juan Bandini won the title: Destroyer of the California missions.

In 1836 Bandini was back in the revolution-making business - this time in opposition to Governor Juan Bautista Alvarado. José Antonio Carrillo returned from his post as territorial congressman in Mexico with the news that his brother, Carlos, had been appointed governor to replace Governor Alvarado, and that the capital had been changed from Monterey to Los Angeles. Carlos had “a large and a magnificent presence,” but he lacked force and resolution in political matters and was “wax in the hands of his brother,” José Antonio.

Governor Alvarado refused to step down as governor, taut Carlos took the oath of office as governor at Los Angeles on December 6, 1836. In February Alvarado had still refused to resign. Therefore, Bandini and José Antonio Pico took a group of San Diegans to Los Angeles. In Los Angeles, because there were only a few members of the band, Bandini had them dress differently so as to make them appear as different persons when they went to stand guard.

The Bandini-Pico band was defeated at San Buenaventura by the Alvarado forces and Carlos Carrillo was forced to resign. This defeat ended the opposition everywhere except in San Diego. When reports of San Diego’s continued opposition filtered into Santa Barbara. Alvarado sent a group of twenty-six men, led by Castro, to San Diego, The band reached the Bandini home at midnight on Christmas. Despite the gala celebration, the soldiers surrounded the home and arrested the two Carrillos and two of the Picos, but Bandini and José Antonio Estudillo escaped. This finally quelled the opposition in San Diego.

During the Mexican-American war and during the United States’ “Conquest” of California, Juan Bandini supported the Americans. His three daughters are even credited with making the first American flag that was raised in the Old Town Plaza on July 29, 1846 -the day John Charles Fremont arrived in town. Juan supported the Americans because he sought relief from the boredom that followed the cessation of revolution and the resumption of his duties as a rancher.

The American control of California, however, did not restore Bandini to his old position as revolutionary. He was faced, instead, with the jota of maintaining his vast tracts of land which stretched from Tijuana to the San Bernardino mountains. Seeking relief from boredom, Juan turned his boundless energy to numerous wild business schemes. In 1850 Juan invested $15,000 to build the Gila House, an inn and general store, to accommodate the gold seekers traveling from Mexico to Sacramento. In December Juan borrowed $10,000 from a French gambler at four percent monthly interest. When Bandini could not meet the payments, the Frenchman gave him an extension, but required the mortgage on both Bandini’ s home and store. In 1851 Bandini was surprised to discover that “all of a sudden trade left entirely.”

In order to pay his debts, Juan hurried down to Rancho Guadalupe, near Tijuana, to market the goods from the Rancho. But to Bandini’s amazement the Rancho had gone to seed and he hired a new supervisor and workers.

While Bandini was at the Rancho his son-in-law, Charles Johnson, “took the occasion to describe the entire family crisis to Abel Stearns -Don Juan’ s costly business schemes, the gambling proclivities of the don’ s young sons, and the expenditures of Dona Refugia Bandini in preparing one elegant fiesta after another even while feeling ‘awfully downcast’ about money matters. Johnson estimated that a loan of $2,000 and proper management could save the Bandini estate and even make it profit ‘hansomely’.” Stearns took over the mortgage and saved Bandini from bankruptcy.

However, when Juan ignored the repeated pleas of his son-in-law for sanity and realism in his business endeavors, the Bandini sons-in-law withdrew all financial help. They remained friendly towards Juan, but they carried on family matters without his advice. This caused Juan to complain of having lost respect. He no longer found himself the revolutionary of former days; instead, he was merely the father of numerous children who had to bail him out of his financial troubles, which were caused not only by his business failures, but also because he was a pace-setter in the social circles. He was one of the early California socialites and his wife often threw elegant fiestas which cost Juan as much as $1,000.

The slender and darkly handsome man had introduced the waltz into California in 1820. At every dance he was the master of ceremonies. The Californians called him “Tecolero,” for it was his duty to lead a woman, usually the belle of the ball, onto the dance floor and the performance was always beautifully executed.

The children, whom Juan charged with having lost respect for him, were produced through his November 20, 1822, marriage to Marie de los Dolores Estudillo, the daughter of one of San Diego’s founders, Captain José Maríá Estudillo.

The first son of Juan and Dolores, Alejandro Félix Rafael, died at the age of fourteen on May 10, 1839. José Maríá, their second son, married MaríaTeresa Arguello, one of the twenty-two children of Santiago Argüello.

Juan’s three daughters - Josefa, Arcadia, and Isidora - were considered three of the most beautiful girls in California, In 1846, Josefa married Pedro C. Carrillo, the son of Carlos Antonio Carrillo, Pedro studied law in Boston, where he had been taken by Captain William G. Dana, the husband of Pedro’s sister, María Josefa Petra del Carmen.

Pedro and Josefa were given the Peninsula de San Diego Rancho, which included Coronado and North Island, on May 12,1846, by Pio Pico, the Mexican governor, as his personal wedding present. The Carrillos had five children, but the marriage does not seem to have been an especially happy one. In February 1854 Cave Couts, Josefa’s brother-in-law, wrote Abel Stearns that he had to pick up Josefa from the steamer as Pedro was “neglecting her most grossly,” and that they were considering suing f or divorce.

Juan José, the son of Pedro and Josefa, was educated at Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. Juan, who had married Francisca Roldan on October 7, 1868, moved his family to Santa Monica. There he worked as a bookkeeper, railroad worker, a waterworks superintendent, a livery stable owner, judge, and the city’s first mayor.

Juan José’s son, Leo, was a famous television star, who played Pancho in the Cisco kid series. Leo’s brother, Jack, became a world famous engineer - the builder of Idlewild Airport.

Juan Bandini met Abel Stearns in 1829. Stearns had been exiled from California by Governor Victoria, taut due to a storm off the coast of Catalina Island, Stearns had been forced to land at San Diego for repairs on his ship. Stearns, the son of Levi and Elizabeth Stearns, and a native of Lunenburg, Massachusetts, immediately joined the anti-Victoria revolt that Bandini had been planning. As a result of their collaboration, Juan and Abel became good friends and steadfast political allies. In May, 1841, Abel married Juan’s sixteen-year old daughter, Arcadia.

Abel Stearns was always a good friend, a kind husband, but he had a hot temper and violent prejudices. Because of his ugliness, he was known as “Cara de Caballo,” horse face. He was a shrewd business-man and soon became one of the wealthiest men in California, In fact, the commerical life of southern California revolved around Stearns. His warehouse, “La Casa de San Pedro,” was one of the four principal ports of trade in nineteenth century Western America.

Although Juan had arranged the marriage between Abel and Arcadia, the marriage was a happy one. Arcadia was fond and proud of Abel. Arcadia and Abel’s home, built in 1859 in Los Angeles, was called “El Palacio,” and soon became the political and social center of Los Angeles. Abel died in San Francisco in the Grand Hotel on August 23, 1871.

After Abel’s death, Arcadia married Robert S. Baker, a native of Rhode Island, the founder of Bakersfield, and a sheep rancher. When Arcadia died on September 15, 1912, she was one of the richest women in America.

If Arcadia’s life lacked romance, the life of her younger sister, Isidora, made up for it. In 1846 the whole town buzzed with excitement over the entry of the American army into San Diego. Isidora,Juan’s youngest daughter, described by Lt. John McHenry Hollings worth as “the most perfect coquette I ever saw,” leaned so far over the balcony to watch the procession of the American Black Dragoons, sent to protect the California missions, that she fell from the balcony into the arms of Colonel Cave Johnson Couts.

Couts, “straight as an arrow, willowy and active, a perfect horse-man, with the natural instincts of a gentleman... .the soul of honor.... jovial and genial, fond of jokes, music and dancing, was born near Springfield, Tennessee, on November 11, 1821.

He was educated under the supervision of his maternal uncle, Cave Johnson, who served as post-master general under President Polk and later as president of the State Bank of Tennessee. Cave graduated from West Point in 1843 and gained fame for his bravery in the Mexican-American war.

After this spectacular saving of Isidora’s life, Cave returned frequently to the Bandini home, and the “romance blossomed under the language of the eyes, since they did not speak the same language at that time.” Cave served as a judge in San Diego for two years after his marriage. Then in 1853, the couple moved to Guajome Rancho, which had been given to them as a wedding present by Abel Stearns, Isidora’s brother-in-law.

The family that grew up on this estate was a happy one. From the letters that Cave wrote to Stearns it is apparent that he had the same problems that any father has: their first child, Abel Stearns, died and Cave had to send Isidora away from the ranch because “every plaything of Abilito that she come across, she has a cry and had cried so much that her lips were swollen and very sore.” Nancy swallowed poison.

Cave died on June 10, 1874. Isidora died in Los Angeles on May 23, 1897, in the apartment of her sister, Arcadia Baker. After Isidora’s death, Guajome passed to Cave J. Couts, Jr., who had attended college in Tennessee and had become a surveyor for the Southern Pacific railroad. Cave junior “maintained the air of Spanish hospitality as much as possible in the changing conditions of the Twentieth Century, and has rightly been called the ‘last of the Dons’ in San Diego county.” He maintained the ranch until his death on July 15, 1943.

María Antonia, the second child of Cave and Isidora, married Chalmers Scott on November 18, 1874. Chalmers Scott was a famous lawyer and engineer. Maríá and Chalmers had eleven children. The blond Arcadia was reared by Arcadia Baker, her great-aunt. Arcadia, therefore, led the life of a “fashionable and sought-after belle” and studied piano in Paris under Paul de Reszke. In 1912 Arcadia Scott married John Jerome Brennan of Pennsylvania, whom she had met during a brief visit to the East Coast. They “knew at first sight that they belonged together.” John Brennon became one of San Diego’ s famous judges. The couple had two children Martita Antonia, who married Alfredo Bandini Johnson, a descendant of Juan by his second marriage to Refugio Argüello, and John Jerome.

Juan’s youngest child, Juan Bautista, counted as a useless ranch worker by his brothers-in-law, Abel Stearns and Charles Johnson, became managing editor of the Los Angeles Herald. His daughter, Arcadia, married John T.Gaffey on June 1, 1887. John Gaffey was “a brillant and entertaining Irishman with scholarly tastes and a leading San Pedro real estate owner. His other daughter, Mary Dolores, married on June 22, 1887, W. Russell Ward, an Englishman of the famous family of English book publishers. Dolores became a favorite in Queen Victoria’s court.

In 1835 Juan Bandini married Refugio Argüello. Refugio was considerably younger than Juan and she “resented the five children of his first family and was extremely jealous of his first deceased wife.” Juan and Refugio had five children: Alfredo, Juan de la Cruz, Dolores, Arturo, and Margarita.

Dolores married Charles Robinson Johnson, a cattle auctioneer and before his marriage a famous playboy. Arturo Bandini was quite a scholar; he lived in a “simple Los Angeles home filed with books and manuscripts - the quiet life of a scholar and collector.” Arturo was the author of several books, including Navidad, a description of Christmas in Old California, His wife, Helen Elliott Bandini, too, was a scholar; she wrote a History of California.

Juan Bandini, who had helped put California on her feet and who had played such a vital role in California’ s growth, died on November 4, 1859 in Los Angeles where he had gone for medical treatment. With his passing California lost a spirited leader both politically and socially.

Descendants of Juan Lorenzo Bruno Bandini
    1      Juan Lorenzo Bruno Bandini    1800 - 1859
          +María Dolores Damiana Estudillo    1805 - 1833
            2      María Josefa Ramona Macrimiana Bandini    1823 - 1896
                    +Pedro Catarino Carrillo    1818 - 1888
            2      María Arcadia Francisca de Paula Bandini    1827 - 1912
                    +Abel Stearns    1798 - 1871
                    Second Husband of María Arcadia Francisca de Paula Bandini:   
                    +Robert Symington Baker    1826 - 1894
            2      María Ysidora Bandini    1829 - 1897
                    +Cave Johnson Couts    1821 - 1874
            2      José María Perfecto Bandini    1830 - 1909
                    +María Teresa Fortunata Arguello**    1835 - 1878
            2      Juan Bautista y Antonio Padua Bandini    1833 - 1866
                    +Esperanza Sepulveda    1842 - 1866
          Second Wife of Juan Lorenzo Bruno Bandini:   
          +María del Refugio Francisca Lugarda Arguello**    1817 - 1891
            2      María de los Dolores Celedonia Bandini    1836 - 1870
                    +Charles A  Johnson    1852 - 1870
            2      Margarita Victoria Josefa María Luisa Bandini    1837 - 1910
                    +James Brown Winston    1820 - 1884
            2      Juan de la Cruz Bandini    1838 - 1880
            2      Alfredo Bandini    1848 - 1880
                    +Guadalupe Monroy    1860 - 1906
            2      Arturo Antonio Bandini    1854 – 1870
                    +Helen Elliott    
     ** Sisters






and more!”

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