Avelino Martinez


Avelino Martinez

Death 7 Aug 1936 (aged 111–112)
Kern County, California, USA
Burial Tehachapi, Kern County, California, USA
Plot N 1/2 and S 1/2, Lot 59, Section N.E.
Memorial ID 15617978 View Source
Suggest Edits

Age 112 per death index.

The Bakersfield Californian
12 August 1936, page 2

Early California Resident Laid to Rest at Tehachapi

Another picturesque figure of the colorful days of early California history has passed on. Funeral services for Avalino Martinez, 114, were held Tuesday morning in American Legion hall, with the Reverend Father O’Shea of St. Malachy’s Catholic Church giving gthe service. Pallbearers were H.A. Weferling, S.V. Mathews, Al Notine, Dave Clark, Clarence Cummings and Seraphine Agolitia. Interment was in the local cemetery.

When Bakersfield was only a small camp, and the old Fort Tejon was garrisoned with soldiers and travelers went by stage or horseback, Avalino had been in California many years. He came up from Sonora, Mexico, with his father when California was still under Spanish rule.

He was with Joaquin Murietta’s and the Vasquez bands, whose forays brought apprehensive shivers to many a traveler. He always maintained, however, that he took no part in their many plunderings but was only employed by them as a horse herder.

The little man with the erect carriage and serious mien of a general, always in cowboy clothes and always with a gun in the holster hanging from his belt, was a familiar sight on local streets. His mind and memory remained remarkably clear and many a thrilling tale he would tell of days when horse stealing ad stage robbery were common occurrences. In one of those tales he told of how he almost was hanged. Until the last two years he rode horseback everywhere and still cut wood and helped with chores.

In early years he was with Lopez on the Tejon Rancho and had been with the Hills, Cuddebacks and Cummings at various times. Of late he had been on the Cummings ranch in Cummings valley.

Many writers of California history had visited and interviewed Avalino, and Bernard Ely in his recent book on Joaquin Murietta, gained much valuable information from this only surviving member of the band. Only a few of them left, those early pioneers who can tell stories of brave and adventurous men who paved the way for the safer, more comfortable present.

From The Tehachapi News

The Main Street Historical Murals Committee is pleased to announce that the sixth in a series of murals commemorating the history of the Tehachapi area has been commissioned and is scheduled to be completed in October.
The mural will depict Avelino Martinez, a well-known local figure who led a long and interesting life. Born of Mexican, Indian and Chinese descent, he came to California at age 13 with a group of drovers from Sonora, Mexico, searching for his father. He worked as a horse groom for one of legendary outlaw Joaquin Murrieta's four horse gangs.
After Murrieta and his gangs were captured and slaughtered in 1853, Martinez worked until 1920 at Rancho EI Tejon. He then worked for E.J. "Bud" Cummings at the Cummings Ranch in Tehachapi until his death in 1936, at a reported age of 112, the last known survivor of the Murrieta group.
Standing only four feet, four inches, Avelino Martinez was well known in Tehachapi, and photos from the Tehachapi Heritage League archives will provide the artist with details of his facial features and short stature, apparent when seated upon his horse. He stands out even in death, occupying the only gravesite in Tehachapi's Westside Cemetery that lies north and south, rather than east and west.

1920 US Census
Name: Avalina Martinez
[Avalino Martinez]
[Avelina Martinez]
Age: 75
Birth Year: abt 1845
Birthplace: California
Home in 1920: Township 2, Kern, California
Residence Date: 1920
Race: White
Relation to Head of House: Boarder
Marital status: Single
Father's Birthplace: Mexico
Mother's Birthplace: Mexico
Able to Speak English: Yes
Occupation: Laborer
Industry: Farm
Employment Field: Wage or Salary
Able to Read: No
Able to Write: No
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Antonio Arujo 33
Irene Arujo 23
Avalina Martinez 75
Thomas Esseviz 29
John Marcus 47
Louis Porter 59


In their memory
Plant Memorial Trees

Sponsored by Ancestry