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Raven Jake

[this is good]

I found this awesome obituary of Luther Harvey Titus, one of the owners of the Blanco Adobe, on a genealogy message board and believe it was originally in the Los Angeles Times. This is just gold. They really don't write them like this any more. 

May 2, 1900 pg I-15

Burial of L. H. Titus

California lost a prominent citizen when the remains of the late Luther Harvey Titus of Lamanda Park were yesterday committed to the grave at San Gabriel. Mr. Titus died on Sunday morning, and the funeral service took place yesterday afternoon at 2:00 o'clock, from his splendid late residence. There was a large attendance of people, many of them prominent in the affairs of Southern California. The house and grounds were literally encrusted with white roses, even the tree trunks being so covered. The massive casket rested in the parlor, and near it was another casket, a small metallic one containing the remains of Luther Harvey Titus, Jr., a child of 3, who died five years ago, and whose body rested ever since in a marble sarcophagus in the ranch grounds, waiting to be buried with the father. The service was conducted by Rev. Dr. Hartley of San Gabriel, assisted by Rev. E. W. Pasko of Lamanda Park. The interment took place at San Gabriel, the elder and younger Luthers being laid side by side in mother earth.

Mr. Titus was born October 9, 1822, in the village of Hamburg, in western New York, of good old colonial stock. The boy was trained on the farm, and his first financial venture was the purchase of a 120-acre farm near Galena, Ill. In 1845 he went back to his native town, remaining there until 1849, when he started for California, sailing from New York for Galveston, Tex. There the overland journey began, fraught with excitement and danger to the end. At the Rio Grande he met D. S. Terry, and the roughing began. At the Gila River all but three of the party returned, but Titus and his companions pushed on, dodging the bloodthirsty Indians, camping without fires, doubling on their trail, and just before reaching the Colorado River overtook and became a part of a company of twenty-eight Americans led by Dr. James B. Winston of Los Angeles.

The ferryboat over the Colorado River at Fort Yuma was an old government wagon, and the ferrymen, all Indians, took toll in blankets. Being afraid of attacks by hostile redskins, the party always kept their arms in condition, and Mr. Titus came hear losing his life through these precautions. He filled his powder flask one night, but in pouring out some powder to light a fire, he snapped a cap too close to the flask and it exploded, lifting him from his feet and blowing his face full of the black grains. While it was a severe accident, it did not stop the traveling, the party arriving at San Diego, August 13, 1849. He was thus one of the original '49ers.

At San Diego, Mr. Titus remained a month, and while there the power was dug out of his face, grain by grain, with the point of a knife. September 13 Mr. Titus arrived in San Francisco, going from there to Stockton and Mokelumne Hill, thence to Calaveras and back to San Francisco after a profitable trip. Leaving mining now, our Argonaut went into the lumber business, manufacturing shingles, selling them at $32 a thousand. In February 1850, he went to Feather River, but selling out, prospected successively on the old emigrant trail, in the Sacramento Valley, at Shasta and at Marysville, where he was taken down with "Trinity fever." This was enough experience for him at the time, and on his recovery he went home by way of Panama, reaching the homestead in 1851. In 1869, twenty years from his first venture, Mr. Titus returned to California, going directly to Los Angeles, where he concluded to settle.

It was necessary to return for his family, and accordingly on going back he induced them all to come with him to the Pacific Coast. His family at that time consisted of his wife, who was a Miss Maria Benedict, and to whom he was married in 1845, and of his daughter, Mary, and her husband, Capt. J. C. Newton, now of South Pasadena. They returned directly to Southern California and made a home on the Horseshoe ranch, between Lamanda Park and San Gabriel, and from here a favorite daughter, Clara, went forth to become a Sister in Los Angeles. That ranch became one of the famous ranches of the state under Mr. Titus's care, and still remains a very fine property. Here he raised citrus fruits, and here also he embarked in the breeding of fine horses, the head of his stable being Echo, sired by Rysdick's Hambletonian, and a magnificent animal.

For seventeen years, or until 1887, Mr. Titus remained on the Horseshoe ranch. Not only was he creating a splendid estate, but his uncommonly able mind was compassing new and useful devices for his fellow men. He invented a process for making cement irrigation canals in a very inexpensive manner, thus conferring an almost inestimable blessing on the country. Then for the benefit of orchardists he invented a movable ladder, a device to aid in picking fruit, a tree-planting apparatus, and a curious variety of hand shears for cutting and picking fruit with the same hand. He first introduced a portable spraying apparatus, and also introduced many new varieties of fruits. In such ways, besides in the public spirit he always showed, Mr. Titus was a decided force in the upbringing of this sunny land.

Upon leaving the old ranch he established himself upon another somewhat north and just in the confines of Lamanda Park. Here he bought a fine residence, and hither he brought, in 1891, a new wife, having married on the 1st of October Miss Ella C. McRary of Saratoga, NY. The following year their home was brightened by the coming of a boy, who was named Luther Harvey Titus, Jr., and who was to the day of his death the very apple of the eye of his father. So great was the attachment felt for the boy that when he sickened and died December 24, 1895, it was to the father a blow from which he never recovered. Luther, Jr., was brought home from San Francisco and placed in a temporary vault near the residence on the ranch. In death they will not be parted. The life of Mr. Titus since his marriage in 1891 was quiet, occupied in managing and keeping in excellent order his large properties. He has been identified with every advance in the neighborhood in which he lived, one of his latest acts being the active support he gave to the temperance movement, which resulted in the establishment of the Lamanda sanitary district. During the past year his devoted wife has carried him everywhere where health might be found, for it was seen that he was failing. For several months he has been a great charge, and oftentimes his mind would wander. Death came easily to him Sunday morning just at daylight. Mr. Titus leaves a widow and one daughter, Mrs. J.C. Newton of South Pasadena, and two granddaughters, Miss May Newton and Miss Frankie Cattran.

San Francisco and New York papers will please copy this notice of his death.

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