Documents for the History of the Daniel Freeman Family and the Rancho Centinela.

Clay Stalls
William H. Hannon Library
Loyola Marymount University
One LMU Drive, MS 8200
Los Angeles, CA 90045-8200
Phone: (310) 338-5710
Fax: (310) 338-5895
Email: special.collections@lmu.edu
URL: http://library.lmu.edu/
© 2013
Loyola Marymount University. All rights reserved.

Documents for the History of the Daniel Freeman Family and the Rancho Centinela

Collection number: CSLA-33

William H. Hannon Library

Loyola Marymount University

Los Angeles, California
Processed by:
Clay Stalls
Date Completed:
2007
Encoded by:
Clay Stalls and Bri Wong
© 2013 Loyola Marymount University. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Documents for the History of the Daniel Freeman Family and the Rancho Centinela. CSLA-33
Dates: 1792-1995 (dates of the originals)
Collection number: CSLA-33
Collector: Forsyth, Betty
Collection Size: 8 archival document boxes; 1 oversize box; 7 flat files
Repository: Loyola Marymount University. Library. Department of Archives and Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90045-2659
Abstract: This collection consists of primary sources (mostly copies) and notes that Betty Forsyth (d. 2006) compiled on the Daniel Freeman family, their Rancho Centinela, and local towns, such as Inglewood, California.
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English Spanish

Access

Collection is open to research under the terms of use of the Department of Archives and Special Collections, Loyola Marymount University.

Publication Rights

Materials in the Department of Archives and Special Collections may be subject to copyright. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, Loyola Marymount University does not claim ownership of the copyright of any materials in its collections. The user or publisher must secure permission to publish from the copyright owner. Loyola Marymount University does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or of publication rights held by the original author or artists or his/her heirs, assigns, or executors.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Series number, Box and Folder number, Documents for the History of the Daniel Freeman Family and the Rancho Centinela, CSLA-33, Department of Archives and Special Collections, William H. Hannon Library, Loyola Marymount University.

Acquisition Information

Forsyth family gift. Accession number: 2006.27

Biography

The Canadian businessman and lawyer Daniel Freeman (d. 1918) came with his family to Los Angeles area in 1873, where the Rancho Centinela became the center of the family's fortune. His wife Catherine leased the Ranchos Aguaje de la Centinela and Sausal Redondo from Sir Robert Burnett of Scotland in 1873--the name Rancho Centinela was that given to the combination of the two ranchos under their joint ownership by Sir Robert. During Mexican rule in California the ranches had been owned by members of the Avila and Machado families. After his wife's death in 1874, Daniel Freeman assumed the lease, eventually buying the ranchos. The Centinela Adobe was the well-known ranch house of Freeman's rancho. From his rancho holdings came the foundation of Daniel Freeman's business interests, and from them the town of Inglewood would also be birthed, with his indirect involvement.

Collection Description

Betty Forsyth (d. 2006), of Manhattan Beach, was an active member of the Centinela Valley Historical Society, an organization concerned with the local history of Westchester, California, El Segundo, California, and Inglewood California. During the over twenty year association with this organization Ms. Forsyth collected primary sources, mostly copies, related to these area's early history, especially the Ranchos Centinela and la Ballona, and the families most intimately acquainted with them, the Machados and the Freemans. On her death, her family donated these materials to Loyola Marymount University, with Mike Engh, S. J., serving as the intermediary. The materials were divided into two collections based on subject matter, one of which is this collection on the Daniel Freeman family and their Rancho Centinela, CSLA-33: Documents for the History of the Daniel Freeman Family and the Rancho Centinela.
CSLA-33 consists of materials related to the family history of the Daniel Freeman family; the family's ranch, the Rancho Centinela; Freeman business enterprises; and the local towns which grew around and on the rancho. The Canadian businessman and lawyer Daniel Freeman (1918) came with his family to Los Angeles area in 1873, where the Rancho Centinela became the center of the family's fortune. His wife Catherine leased the Ranchos Aguaje de la Centinela and Sausal Redondo from Sir Robert Burnett of Scotland in 1873--the name Rancho Centinela was that given to the combination of the two ranchos under their joint ownership by Sir Robert. (During Mexican rule in California the ranches had been owned by members of the Avila and Machado families.) After his wife's death in 1874, Daniel Freeman assumed the lease, eventually buying the ranchos. The Centinela Adobe was the well-known ranch house of Freeman's rancho. From his rancho holdings came the foundation of Daniel Freeman's business interests, and from them the town of Inglewood would also be birthed, with his indirect involvement.
Genealogies, newspaper and journal articles, photographs, personal reminiscences, research notes, and business records make up the collection. Much material is copies that Betty Forsyth made for her research and for the records of the Centinela Valley Historical Society. This is especially true of photographs and of business records. Thus, in the box and folder list, the date given is that for the original source from which copies were made.

Arrangement

The holdings of the Freeman Family and Rancho Centinela collection have been organized according to subject matter or topic into series, each with a box and folder list providing indices to the series' holdings. The original order of the materials was not clearly discernible.
  • Series 1: Daniel Freeman Family Records
  • Series 2: Freeman Business Companies and Related Companies
  • Series 3: Rancho Centinela and Centinela Adobe
  • Series 4: Cities
  • Series 5: Research Notes and Miscellany

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Freeman, Daniel, 1837-1918
Sausal Redondo Rancho (Calif.)
Rancho La Centinela (Calif.)
Real estate development -- California, Southern -- History -- Sources
Inglewood (Calif.) -- History -- Sources
Los Angeles (Calif.) -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
Real estate developers -- California, Southern -- Biography -- Sources
Land titles -- California -- Los Angeles County
Land titles -- California -- Inglewood
Ranches -- California, Southern -- History -- 19th century -- Sources

Related Collections


Box and Folder List

 

Series 1: Freeman Family Records 1873-1995 (dates of originals)

Physical Description: 11 folders, 3 oversize folders

Series Description

This series holds materials on the history of Daniel Freeman's family, including Daniel himself; his children, Grace (1870-1956), Archibald (1867-1931), and Charles (1868-1906); and his son-in-law, Charles Howland (1863-1934), husband of Grace. Of interest are family genealogies, including one prepared by Gustave Anjou in 1901 expressly for Daniel Freeman. Also of value are the wills of Daniel Freeman, Catherine Freeman, and Grace Freeman Howland in this series, for they record not only the initial disposition of Freeman property (by Catherine, Daniel's wife) but also the last (by Grace, his daughter). There is also some business correspondence of Daniel Freeman, as well as a lease from Catherine Freeman to José Dolores Machado. Information on Grace and Charles Howland comes from correspondence between Betty Forsyth and Howland family relatives containing family reminiscences that they wrote expressly for Betty Forsyth.
Box 1 , Folder 2

"Freeman Family Wills": Photostatic copies and typed transcripts of wills of Daniel Freeman, Catherine Freeman, and Grace Freeman Howland 1874, 1918, 1954

Box 1 , Folder 3

Gustave Anjou. Early History of the Freeman Family Compiled for Daniel Freeman. (1901). Freeman Family genealogy. From "Freeman-Howland Families" folder 1901

Box 1 , Folder 4

Marriage licenses of Archibald Freeman and Nora Kirkpatrick; Charles Freeman and Alice Lyon (photostatic copies). From "Freeman-Howland Families" folder 1890, 1903

Box 1 , Folder 5

Incoming correspondence to Betty Forsyth from Howland family relatives re Charles and Grace Freeman Howland. From "Freeman-Howland Families" folder 1992-1995

Box 1 , Folder 6

Fact sheet re life of Daniel Freeman; Daniel Freeman certificate of membership in Ellis Club (photocopy); Daniel Freeman outgoing business correspondence. From "Freeman-Howland Families" folder 1888-1968 (dates broken)

Box 1 , Folder 7

Grace Freeman Howland diary re trip to San Diego; with notes by Betty Forsyth. From "Freeman-Howland Families" folder 1940

Box 1 , Folder 8

Religious card with religious aphorisms (the latter handwritten by Grace Freeman Howland); handwritten account of death of Grace Freeman Howland; newspaper notice of funeral rites of Grace Freeman Howland; Catherine G. H. Freeman lease to José Dolores Machado. From "Freeman-Howland Families" folder 1873, 1956

Box 1 , Folder 9

Handwritten transcription of notice in Inglewood Star re Charles Howland and Grace Freeman wedding; photocopy of Grace Howland check and Continuous Kiln Company receipt; Grace Freeman Howland Christmas card; Grace Freeman Howland funeral program. From "Freeman-Howland Families" folder 1888, 1956

Box 1 , Folder 10

Photographic portrait of Grace Freeman (?) on cabinet card. From "Freeman-Howland Families" folder 1880s (?)

Box 1 , Folder 11

Photograph (copy) of Daniel Freeman family: Grace Freeman Howland, Charles Freeman, Alice Lyon Freeman, Ynez Freeman, Nora Kirkpatrick Freeman. Cardboard backboard (separated) with names of persons in photograph. From "Freeman-Howland Families" folder 1904-1905

Box 1 , Folder 12

Photograph (copy) of interior of Grace Freeman Howland’s room at Freeman mansion; copies of photographs of Grace Freeman Howland and interiors of Centinela Adobe; copies of photographs of Charles Howland and sister Amy in car. From "Freeman-Howland Families" folder undated

Box 1 ov , Folder 1

Photograph of "Centinela", family home of Daniel Freeman 1900(?)

Box 1 ov , Folder 2

Photograph on panel card of the Visitation graduating class of 1914. Ynez Freeman, daughter of Archibald Freeman and granddaughter of Daniel Freeman, in class. Inscription on back of panel card: "77th Annual Commencement. To Dear Grandfather With love from Ynez The Visitation Class of 1914." 1914

Box 1 ov , Folder 3

Sketches of the Freeman mansion "Centinela" for the American Architect and Building News; sketch of Freeman College of Applied Sciences 1889

 

Series 2: Freeman Business Companies and Related Companies 1875-1975

Physical Description: 2 archival document boxes; 7 folders; 1 oversize folder

Series Description

This series contains materials on both the private and public businesses of Daniel Freeman, as well as companies related to the development of the area. Most of these materials are photostatic copies or else photocopies. The companies with which Daniel Freeman was associated include the Centinela Land Company and the Centinela-Inglewood Land Company, created to develop the Rancho Centinela. The latter was formed in 1875, although unsuccessful in its goals of development. Records of interest include the articles of incorporation and Daniel Freeman’s agreement to buy the shares of the company from a "Compton," perhaps Griffith Compton. A later Centinela Land Company, unrelated to the Freemans, was formed in 1912, and its articles of incorporation can be found in Box 1, Folder 14. Records of the Centinela-Inglewood Land Company (1887), which Freeman did not own or directly participate in as a director, consist of the articles of incorporation and a sales contract. This company was responsible for the establishment of Inglewood, and information on its land office there can be found in Box 1, Folder 18. Publicity was important in promoting land development, and booklets and articles in this regard are found in this series. The articles of incorporation and other legal documents of the Redondo Beach Railway Company, which helped in the development of the Inglewood area, are found in this series.
Box 1, Folder 13

"Centinela Land Company" (1875): Articles of incorporation of original Centinela Land Company (photostatic copy), stock certificate, Daniel Freeman and J. H. Shields agreement to buy shares of "Compton" (Griffith Compton?) 1875

Box 1, Folder 14

Articles of incorporation of 1912 Centinela Land Company (photocopy and photostatic copy) 1912

Box 1, Folder 15

"Centinela-Inglewood Land Company": Articles of incorporation of Centinela-Inglewood Land Company (photostatic copies); Centinela-Inglewood Land Company sale contract (photocopy) 1887

Box 1, Folder 16

"Redondo Beach Railway Company": record book (photocopy) containing articles of incorporation, first mortgage documents, lease, minutes of stockholders’ and directors’ meetings, articles of agreement creating Southern California Railway Company, articles of consolidation of the Southern California Railway Company with Santa Fe Railroad 1888-1889

Box 1, Folder 17

"The Pacific Homeland Published Under the Auspices of the R. B. and C. I. L. Companies." (photocopy) 1888

Box 1, Folder 18

"Brick Yard": flyer (photocopy); articles (photocopies and typed transcripts) re Continuous Brick Kiln Company; photographs and photocopies of same 1887, 1911, 1941

Box 1, Folder 27

Photographs, notes, articles, Centinela Valley Historical Society meeting minutes re Daniel Freeman land company office; includes photographs of Inglewood, California, railroad station, and aerial view of the "Centinela" on the grounds of the Daniel Freeman Hospital. Separated from notebook 1975

Box 4

Respondents’ briefs and transcripts on appeal for case of W. L. Archer vs. Daniel Freeman and the Centinela-Inglewood Land Company 1896

Box 5

Daniel Freeman ledger recording cash payments 1867-1888

Box 1 ov, Folder 4

Article from "Resources of Southern California" (1902) re the Centinela and Inglewood; Articles from "The People at Work" re development in Inglewood, including the Continuous Brick Kiln Company 1895-1896, 1902

 

Series 3:  Rancho Centinela and Centinela Adobe 1792-1991

Physical Description: 1 archival document box, 10 folders, 6 oversize folders

Series Description

Articles, research notes, photographs, and genealogical and biographical information on owners of the Rancho Centinela and the Centinela Adobe are the foundation of this series. The owners found in this series include the Machado and Avila families, Joseph Lancaster Brent, and Sir Robert Burnett. There is also a run of photocopies of transcriptions in English of Spanish language documents ( expedientes) detailing the legal actions between the Avila and Machado families over the possession of the Rancho Aguaje de la Centinela in the 1830s and the 1840s. The documents include maps ( diseños) of the ranchos and surrounding properties. The originals of the translations are found in the California State Archives.
Also found in this series are articles on the Centinela Adobe, the ranch house of the Centinela Adobe, as well as the photographs of both the exterior and the interior of the Centinela Adobe from the twentieth century. There are also the reminiscences of Martha Crawford about her life in the adobe from the 1920s until 1945.
Box 1 , Folder 1

"Avila": Transcriptions of marriage documents from San Gabriel Mission, Betty Forsyth index to work in Spanish archives; article: Donn Tatum,General William S. Rosecrans and the Rancho Sausal Redondo, 51, no. 4 Southern California Quarterly 1792, 1969

Box 1 , Folder 19

Betty Forsyth notes (photocopy) on talk by Walter Heller re Freeman family and the Adobe Centinela 1972

Box 1 , Folder 20

Notes on design and history Centinela Adobe; chronology of Rancho Centinela; essay on origin of name Centinela; Martha Crawford reminiscences re Centinela Adobe (From Centinela Adobe folder: 1 of 3) 1965

Box 1 , Folder 21

Photographs of Centinela Adobe (From Centinela Adobe folder: 2 of 3) 1966, 1971

Box 1 , Folder 22

Newspaper and magazine articles re Centinela Adobe and restoration (From Centinela Adobe folder: 3 of 3) 1955-1958 (dates broken)

Box 1 , Folder 23

Rough drafts of Betty Forsyth Chamber of Commerce speeches on Rancho Centinela and Adobe Centinela 1970

Box 1 , Folder 24

Notes, photographs (photocopies), biographical information on Joseph Lancaster Brent, owner of Rancho Centinela. Separated from notebook 1975, 1991

Box 1 , Folder 25

Typed copy (photocopy) of Joseph Lancaster Brent's description of life in California. Copy from Huntington Library. undated

Box 1 , Folder 26

Betty Forsyth translations of Machado and Avila documents re Rancho Centinela; "California Historian" article re Jose Manuel Machado (photocopy) 1991

Box 2 , Folder 1-2

Photographs, genealogies, family history, correspondence re Sir Robert Burnett. Separated from notebook entitled "Burnett notebook Research" 1965-1974

Box 3 , Folder 10

"Centinela Days" programs 1967-1968, 1970

Box 1 ov , Folder 6

Expediente 394: Ignacio Machado petition and supporting documents, and government responses re dispute over Aguaje de la Centinela with Jose Avila. Transcriptions in cursive from register of English translations of original documents in Spanish. 2 copies. 1844

Box 1 ov , Folder 7

Expediente 382: Documents and government responses re Machado/ Avila dispute over Aguaje de la Centinela. Transcriptions in cursive from register of English translations of original documents in Spanish. 2 copies (prints from microfilm negative?) 1844

Box 1 ov , Folder 8

Expediente 82: Anastacio Avila's petition for Tajanta. Transcriptions in cursive from register of English translations of original documents in Spanish. 2 copies (prints from microfilm negative?) 1843

Box 1 ov , Folder 9

Expediente 337: Petition and supporting documents, and government responses re Machado/Avila dispute over the Aguaje de la Centinela. Transcriptions in cursive from register of English translations of original documents in Spanish. 2 copies prints from microfilm negative 1837

Box 1 ov , Folder 10

Expediente 567: Antonio F. Coronel petition and government responses re "Rancho of Centinela." Transcriptions in cursive from register of English translations of original documents in Spanish. 2 copies (prints from microfilm negative?) 1846

Box 1 ov , Folder 11

Diseno (maps) of ranchos LA Ballona, Sausal Redondo, and Tajanta. Part of documentation for expedientes 82, 337, 382, 394, 567. (photocopies of originals in California State Archives) undated

 

Series 4: Cities 1888-1975 (dates of originals)

Physical Description: 1 archival document box, 1 oversize folder, 1 flat file

Series Description

A number of cities developed from or around the Rancho Centinela. Betty Forsyth collected materials on their history, including newspaper clippings on the development of Inglewood. These clippings are found in a scrapbook or else as photocopies, originals, or as transcriptions by Betty Forsyth; the latter category includes transcriptions from the Ingelwood Star. Local histories of Hawthorne and Inglewood also provide some information on these two cities. In addition there are photographs of early sites in Inglewood, such as the post office, as well as a number of pamphlets on Inglewood churches.
Box 3, Folder 1

Chronology, list of postmasters, photograph, articles re Inglewood post office 1888

Box 3, Folder 2

Robert S. Hartman. "History of Hawthorne." (photocopy of typed manuscript) undated

Box 3, Folder 3

Santa Monica Land and Water Company mortgages for property in El Segundo 1928-1929

Box 3, Folder 4

Newspaper articles (photocopies and transcriptions) from Inglewood Star, Inglewood Times, and the Southern California Bulletin re Inglewood; local histories of Inglewood, including church and African-American; Centinela Valley Historical Society program; photographs of Inglewood landmarks; list of Inglewood pioneers (1 of 2). See separated newspaper in flat file 1888-1975 (dates broken)

Box 3, Folder 5

Pamphlets re history of First Presbyterian and Episcopal Church of the Holy Faith and W. W. Robinson. "Inglewood. A Calendar of Events in the Making of a City." Centinela Valley Historical Society pamphlets (2 of 2) 1955, 1961

Box 3, Folder 6

Bell System telephone directory for Inglewood, El Segundo, and Hawthorne 1926

Box 3, Folder 7

Inglewood Union High School alumni yearbook 1924

Box 3, Folder 8

Booklet advertising Inglewood published by Inglewood Realty Company 1906

Box 3, Folder 9

"Highlights of Inglewood History" 1972

Box 1 ov, Folder 5

Scrapbook with newspaper clippings (some loose) on Inglewood history and death of Grace Freeman Howland 1950

Flat File

Inglewood Fairview Gazette 1926

 

Series 5: Research Notes and Miscellany 1897-1978

Physical Description: 3 archival document boxes, 1 folder

Series Description

During the course of her research, Betty Forsyth compiled notes on the history of Inglewood, the ranchos, and the Freeman and Machado families. These notes (all on 3x5 inch note cards) have information ranging from the names of and information on early Inglewood pioneers to furniture in the Adobe Centinela to the activities of the Centinela Valley Historical Society. A folder with miscellaneous publications rounds out the holdings of this series
Box 2, Folder 3

Los Angeles Department of Airports 50th anniversary booklet; Security Pacific Bank community guide to southwest Los Angeles County; Hollenbeck Hotel advertisement with picture of the California Building, Chicago World's Fair; Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce guide to Los Angeles "The County and City of Los Angeles in Southern California." Notes re research activities 1897, 1978

Box 6, Folder 1-5

Notes arranged by alphabetical order: A-H undated

Box 7, Folder 1-3

Notes arranged by alphabetical order: N-Z undated

Box 7, Folder 4

Notes re Inglewood residents undated

Box 8, Folder 1-5

Notes arranged by topic undated