Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Oreña Family Papers
mssHM 70914-70978  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (70.45 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Material removed to Rare Books Department
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Oreña Family Papers
    Dates: 1838-1955
    Collection Call Number: mssHM 70914-70978
    Creator: Oreña family
    Extent: 65 items in 3 boxes
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection contains the papers, dating from 1838 to 1955, of the Oreña family, who held properties in present-day Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Ventura and Los Angeles, California.
    Language of Material: The records are in English and Spanish..


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Oreña Family Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Purchased by the Huntington Library from Mr. and Mrs. C. Bishop in September 1987.

    Material removed to Rare Books Department

    One item in the collection, Finezas de Jesus sacramentado para con los hombres: e ingratitudes de los hombres para con Jesus sacramentado by Joao Jose de Santa Teresa   (1658-ca. 1733) (Call number: 622529), was transferred into the Huntington Library's Rare Books Collection in February 2009. The monograph was published by Antonio Oliva in Gerona, Spain sometime during the late eighteenth century. The item also contains Gaspar Oreña's signature on the first page.

    Biographical Note

    A native of Spain, Gaspar Oreña (1824-1904) came to the United States in the late nineteenth century. He married the widow of a prominent Californio family from Santa Barbara, Maria Antonia de la Guerra, after the death of her first husband, Cesareo E. Lataillade. Several of Oreña's children – namely, Leopoldo, Dario, Orestes, Arturo, and Serena – assumed the responsibilities of the maintaining or selling the family's properties in present-day Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Ventura and Los Angeles Counties. At some point, one of the Oreña children married into the Koch family. The Koch family also figures significantly in the collection, particularly those materials that relate to William de Koch, an agent of the Wells Fargo Co., and his son, Edward Oreña de Koch.

    Scope and Content

    The collection is divided into the following series:
    The chronologically arranged documents demonstrate the range of legal, financial, and real estate-related transactions initiated by or concerning the Oreña Family and their associates. Included in this series are title deeds, land claims, and land grants pertaining to the family’s properties in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Ventura and Los Angeles Counties. Also included are receipts and invoices.
    The chronologically arranged manuscripts include four works pertaining to the Oreña Family as well as other early California families, namely the de la Guerra family. The series also contains two typewritten manuscripts: the first is Occurrences in California, as reported by Angustias de la Guerra Ord and the second is Carlota Koch's "La Guipuzcoana," which chronicles the lives of Gaspar Oreña, Cesareo Lataillade, Maria Antonia de la Guerra, and those of their acquaintances.
    The chronologically arranged correspondence includes personal and business letters to and by the Oreña Family members and their associates. Among the authors is Alfred Robinson (b. 1806-d.1895), author of Life in California (1891).
    Four photographs of the Columbus Library in Seville, Spain comprise the fourth series. These black-and-white photos were taken in September 1955. The photographer, who included only his/her initials of "AK," indicated that the images are not available for publication.
    Finally, three items comprise ephemera. These include two 1891 arguments issued by the Supreme Court of the State of California relating to the case of C.E. Lataillade, Plaintiff and Appellant, vs. Gaspar Oreña, Defendant and Respondent. The final item in this series is an autographed note written on a fragment of an ANP-ANETA News Bulletin, dated Apr. 23, 1951.
    Encoder's Note: Diacritics have been omitted for encoding.


    Arranged chronologically in 3 boxes in the following series: Documents, Manuscripts, Correspondence, Photographs, and Ephemera.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

    Personal Names

    Oreña family

    Corporate Names

    California. Supreme Court
    Algemeen Nederlandsch-Indisch Persbureau
    Biblioteca Colombina
    Midland Pacific Railway Company
    Real Fabrica de Tapices de Santa Barbara


    Guerra family
    Land tenure--California--Ventura County
    Real property--California--Los Angeles
    San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, Calif., 1906--Sources
    California--History--19th century--Sources
    Los Alamos (Calif.)


    Land claims--California
    Land grants--California
    Land titles--California
    Letter books--California
    Letters (correspondence)--California