San Diego County
A venerable citizen of La Jolla,
William Edward Sawtelle is still hale and hearty,
despite his eighty-two years, but has retired from business, and although an
officer of the Williams Gold Mining Company is not active in its
management. In former years a prominent
realtor of Los Angeles, he brought about the incorporation of Sawtelle, which town was named in his honor, and much of
the development and progress of that district is due to him. He was born in Norridgewock, Maine, August
26, 1850, a son of George and Sarah H. (Peet) Sawtelle, and is a member of one of America’s oldest
was reared and educated in New England and his initial step in the business
world was made in Massachusetts. Coming
to California in 1895, he first located in San Diego and spent four years in
that city. With his removal to Los
Angeles in 1899, he took up subdivision work as an executive of the Pacific
Land Company, which acquired large tracts of Los Angeles county [sic], and had
two partners in that enterprise. As the
territory developed and residents increased, he saw the necessity and wisdom of
incorporating the community into a city and worked hard to bring this about. In 1906 a city of the sixth class was incorporated
under the law of California and named for Mr. Sawtelle. The same year the Citizens State Bank
(afterward the Security Trust and Savings Bank) opened its doors in Sawtelle with W. E. Sawtelle as
one of its incorporators. Called to the
office of vice president, he continued in that capacity for many years and
materially advanced the interests of the bank.
At the incorporation election held November 15, 1906, E. E. Mudge, C. J. Nellis, J. E.
Osborne, A. J. Stoner and F. C. Langdon were voted in as trustees of Sawtelle, with Leroy Fallis as
city clerk, George W. Wiseman as city treasurer, J. P. Keener, city marshal, O.
W. Jewett, city recorder, and W. B. Taylor, city attorney.
About six years ago Mr. Sawtelle came to La Jolla, purchasing a desirable home at
7379 Fay avenue [sic], near the ocean, and here he has
since resided. For nearly nine years he
has served as treasurer of the Williams Gold Mining Company, whose vice
president, Howard Williams, was one of his close friends. The daughter, Miss Williams, whose sketch is
published elsewhere in this work, resides in San Diego and has contributed
several fine paintings to the world of art.
On April 1, 1924, the state of
California issued a charter to the Williams Gold Mining Company, capitalized at
one hundred thousand dollars. The
incorporators were: R. F. McClellan president; Howard Williams, vice president;
W. E. Sawteele [sic], treasurer; C. D. Ballard,
secretary; and M. B. Williams, a director.
The principal place of business is in Los Angeles and the mining
property is located at Julian, in San Diego county
The corporation was formed to open
up the old Owens mine [sic] and prospect [sic] and virgin ground, including the
Jeanette claim adjoining. The claims consist of the Old Owens, the New Owens
and Jeanette. The two Owens claims
parallel each other and are three hundred by fifteen hundred feet each,
overlapping at the easterly end. The
Jeanette is six hundred by fifteen hundred feet and joins the westerly end of
the Owens claims. They are patented and
all three are owned by the Williams Gold Mining Company free and clear.
Probably the most authentic date of
the discovery of gold on the Owens claims is contained in a telegram dated
November 10, 1869, and set forth in the files of the Mining and Scientific
Press. “San Diego excited over reported
discovery of rich gold mines sixty miles north of town. Quanities
[sic] of dust and of gold worth ten dollars are brought in.” It is self-evident that work was immediately
begun on the Owens claims by a physical view of the large dump, the old shaft
house and gallows frame, assay office and ten-stamp mill still standing on the
From the opening of the mine until
it was closed in 1874, Mr. Kelly, the superintendent, and C. O. Gunn who had
charge of the mill during most of that period, estimate the production at two
hundred thousand dollars. Because of
litigation and dissension among the owners the mine was closed in 1874. However, some time
between that date and 1893 a new shaft was sunk and a second ledge, known as
the “red edge,” was discovered and worked to a depth of two hundred feet, the
ledge varying in width from two to eight feet of low grade free milling
ore. By sinking a new shaft the Williams
Gold Mining Company tapped the center of the gold-bearing ledges and is
profitably developing these claims, which are yielding a large body of
excellent free milling ore.
In 1882 Mr. Sawtelle
was married to Miss Mary Wheeler, now deceased, and
they were the parents of two daughters.
Catherine, the elder, who was born in 1884, became the wife of John
McIntyre, and they had three children; Mary, who was graduated from the
University of California at Berkeley with the class of 1932; Margaret, a young
girl of eighteen and a high school graduate; and Neil McIntyre, aged seventeen
years, who is a senior in the high school at La Jolla. The mother of these children died in 1931 but
the father lives in La Jolla, occupying the family home at 7302 Fay avenue [sic]. The
second daughter, Barbara Sawtelle, born in 1888, was
united in marriage to Dr. Lee S. Seward and passed away in 1915, leaving an
infant son, Will Seward, now seventeen years of age. Mrs. Seward’s sister, Mrs. John McIntyre, was
a talented artist whose canvases were much admired by connoisseurs. Mr. Sawtelle has
watched with interest the growth and development of his grandchildren, who
reside near him, and delights in their society.
His forbears fought valiantly for American independence and he belongs
to the Sons of the Revolution. He has
played well his part in life and is a man of broad outlook, genial nature and
high standards, esteemed and respected by all who know him.
Transcribed by Jeanne Turner.
of the South Vol. II,
by John Steven McGroarty, Pages
309-312, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles,
© 2012 Jeanne