Known as Charles Tom Vincent, he was a rough, grouchy old man with few friends, who preferred to live a solitary life in the high elevations of the San Gabriel Mountains. One day, while hunting the bighorn sheep which roamed the mountains, he discovered gold on the east slope of Mount Baden-Powell. He named the find after the sheep he was hunting at the time, and later sold his Bighorn Mine to developers who turned it into the largest gold mine in Los Angeles County, with miles of tunnels spanning six levels, and a stamp mill perched precariously on the side of the mountain. On another hunting expedition, this time accompanied by a rare friend, they were attacked by three bears whom they had surprised. Vincent managed to shoot and kill two of the bears, but when his gun jammed before he could get off another shot, he attacked and killed the third with just a knife. As he lay dying in an L.A. hospital in 1926, he told his doctor he had a confession to make. He said his name was actually Charles Vincent Dougherty, and he was a wanted man. Many years earlier, he and a mining partner in Arizona returned to their cabin after a day of working their claim to find three men ransacking their home. They shot the three men dead and buried them on the spot. Then, fearing the repercussions of the law, they fled. His partner went to Los Angeles, while Vincent headed into the Eastern Sierras, drifting southward over time until he settled in the San Gabriel Mountains. His reason for confessing, he said, was to make his real name known so he could be buried in L.A.'s National Cemetery. He had fought in the Civil War, in the 8th Ohio Infantry, and had even been wounded at Chancellorsville. Vincent Gap and Vincent Gulch in the San Gabriel Mountains' high country near Mount Baden-Powell are named for him.
Bio by: Lonnie DeCloedt
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