DEATH TAKES SURVIVOR OF OLD RANCHO PERIOD
One of the last survivors of the old rancho life of Southern California, Mrs. Erolinda Cota Yorba, 80 years of age, the daughter of Francisco and Martina Cota, once owners of the great La Ballona rancho, which once covered the territory now occupied by Culver City, died yesterday at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Martina L. Pelanconi, of Hollywood.
Born in the adobe home of Augustine Machado, which once stood at Fifth and Main streets, Mrs. Yorba during her life saw the transition of Los Angeles from a small pueblo to a metropolitan city. Her marriage to Vincente, son of Bernardo Yorba, whom she survived by twenty years, was an event in the early days of the city. The ceremony was performed at the home on the La Ballona rancho and was followed by a fiesta, which drew celebrants from all the old California families.
With her husband Mrs. Yorba lived for many years on the Yorba ranch in Orange county and when the town of Yorba was built aided in the construction of the small adobe church for the new town. Later, when the church proved too small, Mrs. Yorba was active in support of the new structure.
In addition to Mrs. Pelanconi, Mrs. Yorba leaves two sons, Bernardo of Anaheim and Vincente of Santa Ana Canyon, and three other daughters, Mrs. Hortense M. Palomares and Mrs. Mary L. Vejar, both of Pomona, and Mrs. George Wentz of Hollywood.
The funeral rites will be conducted in the Yorba church at 10 a.m. Monday, with burial in the Yorba family cemetery near the church.
Submitted by: Karla Everett
ALONG EL CAMINO REAL
with Ed Ainsworth
Ted Hodges of San Juan Capistrano tells this story of a living link between long-past days of Mission San Juan Capistrano and the present in writing of the life of Ramon Yorba, for more than 70 years bell ringer at the mission and one of the most colorful characters in the village:
If you ever visit Mission San Juan Capistrano, and wander into the old pottery shop, probably Ramon Yorba will serve you. With traditional Spanish gallantry he will rise and bid you welcome.
You will be attracted by his close observance to the dress affected by the old Spanish dons: saucer-shaped black felt hat; gayly colored handkerchief tied loosely about his neck; dark jacket and vest, but invariably the light-colored trousers. Ramon's costume deviates in one detail only. He is extremely proud of a vividly green poker dice through which he threads the ends of the silk handkerchief, always the four dots in front, leaving no doubt that the number has some significance.
Come next March 9, this affable old gentleman will celebrate his 82nd birthday. All but the first eight years of his life have been devoted to the mission. Five years ago he made his first visit to Los Angeles. "Three hours in the big city were sufficient," he said. He has no desire to return.
While the ocean lies less than three miles from his home, 15 years ago marked his last sight of the Pacific.
He keeps thoroughly abreast of the news as an inveterate reader, depending solely on Spanish publications. Born in San Juan Capistrano, at the age of 8 he went to live at the mission with his sister, who served as cook for Father Jose Mut. Never attending school, Ramon credits this beloved priest for his education.
At 9, he was first taught the ritual of ringing the mission bells. An intricate ritual, as each service requires a different "singing" as he describes it. Now, Ramon Yorba has become famed as Mission San Juan Capistrano's bell ringer.
Today finds him still guiding the rawhide thongs of his beloved bells as they sing their messages of joy or sadness to an understanding populace.
The story of Ramon's famous hitching post is perhaps the most interesting from his vast store of memories. On March 19, 1871, Don Jose Antonio Pico rode into the mission on his great white charger to attend divine services. As was the custom in those days, a watering trough served as a hitching post.
As usual, Ramon was tolling the bells, which, so the story goes, frightened the animal, and horse and trough started down El Camino Real, where the horse finally was lassoed by Indians.
Padre Mut ordered Ramon to substitute a real hitching post. Apparently the nude pole that he place in the ground retained a spark of life. The magnificent great pepper tree that now stands at the entrance to the curio shop was Ramon's hitching post.
May it ever serve as a monument to one of the few remaining survivors of old San Juan Capistrano and Mission.
Submitted by: Karla Everett
HONORS PAID TO TEODOSIO YORBA IN FINAL SERVICE.
The funeral of Teodosio Yorba, California pioneer after whom the community of Yorba Linda was named, was conducted yesterday at 10 a.m., from the family residence, 1820 Reed street, with interment in Calvary Cemetery.
He leaves his widow, Francisca Yorba, a son, Arthur G. Yorba, and a daughter, Ernestine Yorba. He was born September 30, 1849, at Carmel, his parents being Francisco Yorba and Teodosio G. Yorba.
Solemn high mass was preached at St. Thomas's Church with Father Fitzgerald officiating. There was a large number of friends and relatives present and a profusion of floral tributes.
The active pallbearers were Elisandro Palomares, Juan Sanchez, Vincent Yorba, Philip Lugo, Idnacio Vejar and Alejandro Rowland. Honorary pallbearers were Don Sepulveda, Lorenzo Pelancort, Antonio Orfilia and Raphael Plummer, also pioneers and Augustine Abila, Joseph Romero, Bernardo Rowland and Pedro Lugo.
[Note: Teodosio as the mother of the deceased is spelled as it appears; Pedro Lugo may be Pedio Lugo; Idnacio Vejar should probably be Ignacio.]
Submitted by: Karla Everett