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Benjamin Davis Wilson Collection
mssWN 1-2419  
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Collected business and personal correspondence relating to Southern California landowner Benjamin Davis Wilson (1811-1878) and his family. The collection also includes account books, diaries (kept by Wilson's wife Margaret and their daughters Annie and Ruth), and assorted ephemera. The Shorb and Patton families are also heavily represented in the correspondence.
Benjamin Davis Wilson (1811-1878), a native of Tennessee, was a pioneer California rancher and businessman who came to Southern California from New Mexico in 1841 as a member of the Rowland-Workman party. He purchased the Jurupa Rancho (Riverside, Calif.) in 1843. In 1851-52 Wilson was elected the second mayor of Los Angeles, in 1852 he served as U.S. Indian Agent under Superintendent Edward F. Beale, and in 1855-57 and 1869-72 he served as state senator. He purchased Rancho de Cuati and adjacent land to develop his Lake Vineyard Ranch (part of present-day San Marino) and with John S. Griffin purchased Rancho San Pascual (which later became the city of Pasadena). Wilson planted vineyards and citrus groves and became active in business circles.
2,394 items in 41 boxes.
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