The collection contains family papers, land deeds, business papers related to Denton land surveys, and several maps of the
Baja California region.
Colonel William Denton (July 27, 1828-April 14, 1907) was born in Harrowby, England, to William Smith Denton and Sarah Nixon.
He was the fourth of seventeen children. Denton came to the United States during the Gold Rush and worked as a civil engineer
for the United States geodetic survey. Between 1858 and 1860, Denton participated in a surveying expedition of the Sea of
Cortes and coastal Sonora region, accompanied by Federico Fitch, son of a prominent San Diego businessman. It is very likely
that he met his future wife during this expedition since their ship stopped at her hometown of Mulege, Mexico. In 1860, he
was married to Elena Cano de los Rios aboard the English battleship “The Cleo” at La Paz, Mexico. Elena Cano de los Rios Denton
(May 8, 1845-September 23, 1930) was born in Mulege, Baja California, to Mariano Cano de los Rios and Petra Ruiz. Together,
William and Elena had eight children: Eleana, William Smith, Oscar Allan, Sarah Brent, Paul Isham, Alexander Marion, Maria
Soldad, and Morgan Gascoigne.