Monterey History “They Followed Serra” part 2

(by Gary Carlsen, from a column written for the MoCoGenSo Newsletter from 1997-1999).

About a mile south of Carmel, on the ocean side of Highway 1, lies a spectacular reserve known today as Point Lobos. This spectacular park was once a part of the Rancho San Jose’ Y Sur Chiquita which extended south to the Little Sur river, and was once owned by Francisco Marcelino Escobar, one of the areas pioneers.

Known by his middle name he was one of five children, born in Tepec Mexico, in 1794 to Francisco Escobar and Louisa Jordon. At age 15, as was the practice of Spanish military families, he joined the Spanish army, and saw his first action as a foot soldier in the Provincial Militia Infantry Regiment of Toluca. He fought with valor at Neuva Galicia, and was wounded in battle and tortured by the Indians. Decorated by General Jose de la Cruz, he was promoted to “Cabo”, and returned to Tepec to recover.

Returning to service in 1813 with the Auxiliary Troop of the Spanish Army at San Blas, he was sent to Monterey with Lieutenant-Colonel Pablo Vincente de Sola, who was to be the new Govenor. Arriving in Monterey, on the 30th of August 1815, on the ship Paz y Religion he served at various posts including Monterey, San Francisco, and San Jose.

On the 18th of November 1819, at Presidio Chapel in Monterey, he married Tomasa Antonia Garcia, the daughter of Felipe Santiago Garcia and Petra Alcantara Lugo, members of the 1774 Rivera expedition. Born on the 8th of March 1801, Tomasa was the nineteenth child born to the couple. In the next 14 years the couple would have ten children, five sons and five daughters.

Discharged from the army in 1822, Marcelino served as the last Spanish Alcalde in Monterey under Spanish rule. He went on to serve as Sindicio at Monterey under Mexican rule in 1830, and Alcalde in 1833, 1836, and 1837.

He had been running cattle on the Rancho San Jose y Sur Chiquita, which belonged to Theodoro Gonzales, since 1835. Gonzales had never occupied the property, and Marcelino petitioned for and received title on the 16 of April 1839. He built the family home, which no longer exists, on a bluff overlooking Point Sur.

The family only remained on the property for two years, and on the 25th of August 1841 Marcelino reportedly sold a portion of the property sold to Josefa Abrego for $250.00. Some maintain Marcelino sold the property because it was unfit to raise cattle, while others say he was frightened off the land by the ghost of an angry indian. The story is, the indian rolled himself in white ash and stood before Marcelino on a foggy night as he was riding over his land. According to deed records Marcelino’s grandson Jose Maria Escobar sold his portion of the property on the 1st of December 1877 to Adam Joseph Kopsen of San Francisco.

Josefa supposedly deeded the land to eight soldiers of the Presidio Company to settle her husbands gambling debts, and they in turn sold their rights to Jose Castro for $800.00. Castro and others petitioned for the Rancho in 1853, and were rejected, and in 1888, 8,819 acres were patented to J. S. Emory and N. W. Spalling.

Marcelino owned several other pieces of land within the present boundaries of what is now Monterey. Most notably was a casa at the corner of what is now Webster and Abrego streets, which he sold to Juan Romero for $300.00 in 1840. Sometime prior to his death, the dates are uncertain, he owned the Rancheria de Huerta Viera which was located about the site of the present day Hilton Hotel on Aguajito.

When the “Gold Fever” hit California Marcelino left for the gold fields to seek his as many others did. It is said he accumulated quite a fortune before being killed. His death and burial have never been documented, but in his brother-in-law Jose Inocente Garcia’s story to Thomas Savage it is said he died in the gold fields in 1848 or 1849. An article written in the Stockton Daily Evening Record in 1911 by his daughter Maria Christina Jacoba Rojas de Larios she states he died in Mon terey in 1849.

The 1850 Census shows Tomasa living with her granddaughter, Maria Feliciana del Refugio Gutierez and her husband Jose Preiera aka Pray, in Monterey. Tomasa died on the 26th of July 1875 and was buried in the San Carlos Cemetery in Monterey. A large tombstone still marks her gravesite. Many of their descendants still live in the Monterey area.

Children of Marcelino Escobar and Tomasa Garcia

1 Francisco De Assis Agustin Escobar Born 16 Aug 1820 Santa Clara, CA, Christened 29 Aug 1820 at, Santa Clara, CA, Died 29 Mar 1893 Monterey, Monterey, CA, Buried Monterey, Monterey, CA.

2 Juan Bautista deJesus Escobar Born 21 Nov 1821 San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, Christened 22 Nov 1821 Mission Dolores, San Francisco, CA, Died 20 Oct 1882 Monterey, Monterey, CA, Buried Monterey, Monterey, CA.

3 Maria Josefa Perfecta Escobar Born 18 Apr 1823 Monterey, Alta, CA, Christened 20 Apr 1823 Monterey, Alta, CA, Died 1 May 1897 Monterey, Monterey, CA, Buried 3 May 1897 Monterey, Monterey, CA.

4 Jose Maria Estaban Marcelino Escobar Born 10 Dec 1825, Monterey, Alta, CA, Christened 12 Dec 1825 Monterey, Alta, CA, Died 1849 California, Buried California

5 Nicholas Antonio de Jesus Escobar Born 3 Oct 1827 Monterey, Alta, CA, Christened 3 Oct 1827 Monterey, Alta, CA, Died 22 Feb 1892 Monterey, Monterey, CA, Buried 23 Feb 1892 Monterey, Monterey, CA.

6 Simon Thadeus Escobar Born 1 Nov 1828 Monterey, Alta, CA, Christened 1 Nov 1828 Monterey, Alta, CA, Died 13 Oct 1829 Monterey, Monterey, CA, Buried 15 Oct 1829 Monterey, Monterey, CA.

7 Maria Christina Jacoba Escobar Born 24 Jul 1830 Monterey, Alta, CA, Christened 25 Jul 1830 Monterey, Alta, CA, Died 31 Dec 1919 Oakland, Alameda, CA, Buried Colma, San Mateo, CA.

8 Maria de los Sampadus Ampara Escobar Born 14 Dec 1831 Monterey, Alta, CA, Christened 15 Dec 1831, Monterey, Alta, CA, Died 3 Jun 1907 Monterey, Monterey, CA, Buried 4 Jun 1907 Monterey, Monterey, CA.

9 Maria del Refugio Aselma Escobar Born 21 Apr 1833 Monterey, Alta, CA

10 Fernanda Luisa Escobar Born 30 May 1834 Monterey, Alta CA, Christened 10 Jun 1834 Monterey, Alta, CA, Died about 1868.

Information and documentation provided by Ray and Bettie Dall of Dinuba CA. Ray is a direct descendant of Marcelino and Tomasa. He and Bettie are researching the Escobar family, and are interested in communicating with anyone having information on any of their descendants.


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