|Birth: ||Aug. 2, 1808|
San Diego County
|Death: ||Sep. 19, 1853|
San Diego County
His father was Juan Maria Marron 1786-1833.
JUAN MARRON AND RANCHO AGUA HEDIONDA
The secularization of the mission lands led to the formation of several large ranchos in what is now San Diego County. The one with the most effect on Carlsbad's history is the one that was called Rancho Agua Hedionda, granted to Juan Maria Ramouldo Marron II in 1842. Marron had been in the band that attacked Victoria in 1831. This alone should have put in a favorable light among the Californians, but he had a few other things going for him, as well. For one thing, he had married Felipa de Jesus Osuna, who was the daughter of Juan Maria Osuna, the owner of Rancho San Dieguito. For another, he was a very bright man and was well respected in San Diego society. He was literate, he had been born in San Diego in 1808, and he had a talent for civic leadership (later in life he would twice be a "regidor," or member of San Diego's governing council, and was elected mayor of San Diego in 1848).
Things went well with Marron for a few years. He built a three-room adobe hacienda on the ranch, and built up a herd of cattle and horses. In 1845, he was appointed mayordomo of the Mission San Luis Rey lands, at an annual salary of $300, [Footnote5] by Pio Pico who, for some strange reason had become governor again. The mission's former grandeur was only memory by then. For example, when Marron took possession on July 20, 1845, the livestock numbered only 279 horses, 20 mules, 61 donkeys, 196 cattle, 54 oxen, and 700 sheep. some historians contend that Pico and his friends stole everything else, and the record would appear to substantiate this contention.
Marron divided his attention between the ranch and the mission, Felipa took care of Father Zalvidea, who was sickly (and, by most accounts, a bit off in the head, speaking to the Devil and going in for self-flagellation). About this time, the Marrons acquired the first horse and carriage in San Diego. There was nothing high-falutin' in this move, although Felipa is said to have enjoyed the envy of the other ladies. The Marrons still had business to conduct in San Diego, and the oxcart, which was the usual mode of transportation in those days, took an entire day to make the trip from the city to the ranch.
On October 28, Pico published a decree titled Sale and Leasing of the Missions. This was an illegal action, and the Mexican government responded quickly (November 14) with a directive prohibiting the sale. Pico didn't pay any attention to Mexico City, however, and on May 18, 1846, he sold Mission San Luis Rey to Jose A. Cot and Jose A. Pico for $2,000 in silver and $437.50 in grain.
The whole thing more or less fell apart with the invasion of the U.S. army, but Pico wasn't one to give in easily. On July 24, when the U.S. forces were already in de facto control of the state Pico ordered Marron to forward an inventory of the mission's assets to Cot and Jose Pico. John Forster of San Juan Capistrano "took possession for the owners and then left Marron in charge for Cot and Pico" (Engelhardt).
Pico then went into hiding, since the invading Yankees let it be known that they thought he'd make a dandy prisoner. From July through August, Pico spent his time dodging about the San Juan Capistrano and Rancho Santa Margarita (Camp Pendleton) countryside, at the same time trying to drum up support for a resistance movement.
In August, his secretary of state, Don Jose Matias Moreno, rode to Mission San Luis Rey to warn the Marrons of approaching soldiers, but found the troops had already surrounded the mission. For some reason, he sneaked into the mission, anyway.
Felipa wound a bandage around his head and put him into bed. When the soldiers searched the buildings and grounds for Pico, she told them that Matias was her inured nephew. They swallowed that one and left the next day. As soon as the coast was clear, Matias dashed off to join Pico. (Pico's revolt fizzled, and in early September he made tracks for Baja California.)
Captain Archibald Gillespie, who was the commander of the Yankee force that had searched the mission, learned of Felipa's deception the same day that Matias left the mission. With an abrupt, "About face!" the detachment returned to the mission in a fury. Not finding either Matias or Pico, Gillespie blew his top and ordered the Marrons to vacate the premises. Soon thereafter, John Bidwell was appointed "magistrate of the district of San Luis Rey" by Commander Robert Stockton.
The Marrons went to Rancho Agua Hedionda, but found a cold reception from their neighbors. The neighbors hadn't liked Marron's previous "friendliness" with Stockton in San Diego. Marron was an intelligent man, and saw no reason to aggravate an occupying force even though his heart was with the Californians. But in his neighbors' minds, placation was the same as aiding and abetting. Therefore, they engaged in a campaign of harassment and vandalism that made it quite clear that Rancho Agua Hedionda's climate was turning unhealthy. The Marrons left the ranch and went to San Diego, where they stayed with an old friend, Jose Estudillo. A few months later, word reached them that the Californians were planning to attack San Diego. Not wanting to be in the middle of the battle, Marron asked Stockton for permission to go back to Agua Hedionda. Stockton gave his permission, with the provision that Marron not take up arms against the Yankees. Marron agreed—which put him in an even worse light as far as his compatriots were concerned—and the family journeyed north once more.
Their homecoming was an unhappy one. Marron's neighbors kept him prisoner for a while, debating whether they should shoot him. In the end, they let him go, but only after they had "liberated" most of the food and livestock at the ranch.
How all this preyed upon Marron's mind, one can only guess. A Californian by birth, owner of a 13,000-acre ranch, and a relatively powerful man in the existing power structure, Marron had more reason than most to fight against the Yankees. But he could also see the futility of such a fight. Even so, he joined with the band of Californians that set out to ambush General Stephen Kearney's troops, who were on their way to San Diego.
The December 6, 1846, battle, known as the Battle of the San Pasqual Valley, went to the Californians. Happy with their victory, they made for home, but their joy came to an abrupt end. A band of Indians seeking revenge for the cruelty and injustice of years attacked them that same day. Casualties were light, but it took some of the fun out of things.
As for Marron, it appears that his neighbors were intent on making him the scapegoat for all their troubles. Although he had shown his support by joining in the San Pasqual fray, they still considered him persona non grata, and let him know it. Marron was no dummy. He knew when he wasn't wanted. He and his family gathered what livestock they could find and went back to San Diego, where, it would appear, he came to terms with the new order, and never raised sword again.
Now did he ever again set foot on Rancho Agua Hedionda. He died in San Diego on September 23, 1853, leaving the ranch to Felipa and their children. The children seem to have had little interest in the ranch after reaching adulthood. They went their own ways hither and yon in southern California, and played no important role in the later history of Agua Hedionda and Carlsbad.
Felipa hung in there, though. And so did Sylvestre Marron, who is variously described as either Juan Maria's son or younger brother. Whatever the blood relationship, Sylvestre and his descendants—many of whom live in Carlsbad today—are the Marrons who figure in some of the later history of the ranch.
In 1855, Felipa and Sylvestre returned to Rancho Agua Hedionda and made a try at resuming operations. Beginning in 1858, the Marron family gave a series of mortgages and leases on the ranch that confused the issue of ownership in later years. Allan O. Kelly's account of the period is edifying:
"The first county record on the Agua Hedionda grant was in March 1858 when (the Marrons) mortgaged it to Jose Estudillo. Then, in the following year, February 1, 1859 (they) deeded the ranch to Estudillo. The next year, on July 25, 1860, Felipa Marron mortgaged the ranch to B. Couts (probably Cave Couts). This confusion was followed, the records show, when other Marron heirs mortgaged the ranch to Francis Hinton in October 1860; and then on December 19, 1860 they leased the rancho to Hinton. To further mix matters, the records show that Jose C. Marron and wife deeded the Rancho to Joe Mannassee on December 15, 1860.
"From the above it seems clear that all parties concerned, including the county recorder, were pretty much confused, if not unconcerned, and little or nothing is known if a money consideration went with some of these mortgages and deeds; for example, Kelly family word-of-mouth history says that Hinton loaned the Marrons $9,000 on Rancho Agua Hedionda, while other stories (Copley Press) claim it was $6,000. Whatever the amount of money, a period of quiet prevailed. This lasted until December 11, 1865, when the Marron heirs finally deeded the rancho to Francis Hinton. Then another calm prevailed until January 12, 1869, when Joe Mannasse deeded all his right and title to Hinton, and this was followed by Juan N. Marron deeding all of his right and title to the Rancho Agua Hedionda on October 4, 1869."
Many people have wondered why the Marrons leased and mortgaged Rancho Agua Hedionda when they could have worked it. Aside from the possibility of stressed family finances during the economic depression of the late 1850s, there is another plausible reason, as Kelly explains:
"The chain of title to the Rancho Agua Hedionda comes down like this: The king of Spain took it away from the Indians by force and in so doing laid claim to California and most of the western world. Mexico took it away from Spain; the Spanish Californians took it away from Mexico; and the United States took it away from the Californians. Each of these acquisitions was by force, military force...
"Government by law then took over in a just and reasonable fashion. The lands were surveyed, deeds recorded, and a true and valid claim of title established. The Congress of the United States tacitly admitted this when they voted to accept the land grants as given by Pio Pico and the other Spanish California governors of that time. In effect, it was admitted that the United States had taken California by armed force and that the owners of these land grants had a clear and valid title to the property...
"It would appear that the Marrons and other (Mexican) land grantees probably did the wise thing, from their point of view at the time. Since they had no real assurance that some new Congress would not rescind its previous vote and take their lands without compensation, it made good sense to mortgage their lands or to sell for whatever they could get. This supposition is borne out by the fact that the Congress did not issue the U.S. land patent (on Rancho Agua Hedionda to Marron's heirs) until April 28, 1873 (more than 20 years after the U.S. took California).
"The facts are that before barbed wire was invented (1879), large tracts of land were not worth the much more than the going price of 25 cents per acre because the landowner had no control—everyone's livestock running on the land grants, where the best feed and water was located, the (Mexican) land grantees having picked out the best land available to receive as gifts from the governor.
"In the minds of the heirs of Juan Maria Marron, if they only got $6,000 for their 13,214 acres, that was nearly as much as it was worth at the going price of 25 cents an acre, not to mention any other sums they may have gotten out of the other mortgages or sales."
Maria Felipa de Jesus Catalina Osuna Marron (1809 - 1889)*
Maria De La Luz Marron Estudillo (1837 - 1894)*
El Campo Santo Cemetery
San Diego County
Created by: DeAnna Coronado
Record added: Apr 07, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 88180362
Added: Feb. 8, 2014