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San Juan Capistrano

Date of Death:

Place of Death:


Properties Owned:


Andres Avelino Duarte was born at the Mission San Juan Capistrano in 1805.  He went into the army as his father had  Eventually, he was assigned to Mission San Gabriel.  He married Maria Gertrudes Florentina Valenzuela around 1827.

In 1841, Andres Duarte retired from the military and submitted a petition to Governor Juan Alvarado for land in the upper San Gabriel Valley.  What he received was 6,596-acres of land that included parts of Arcadia, Monrovia, Irwindale, Azusa, Baldwin Park, and all of Bradbury and Duarte.  In Duarte, he built an adobe on the property and lived in it with his family.  

From 1846-1848, Mexico and its territories were at war with the United States, a war which Mexico lost.  The territories Mexico had owned, including California, became part of the United States.  This was one of the nails in the coffin of the ranchos of California.  

Their Spanish and Mexican owners had to prove they owned the land they had lived on for decades.  The Mexican records were, of course in Spanish.  Many of the rancho owners spoke no English.  Some of the records were missing.  Lawyers had to be hired.  Duarte, along with many others, filed a claim for his property.  And like many of the other rancho owners, Duarte experienced a constant drain on his finances which necessitated selling off parcels of his land.  After the first large sale of 220 acres, Duarte divided most of the rest into 40-acres lots and sold them off to the much of the remainder of the rancho into 40-acre lots and sold them individually. Even though Duarte finally got the patent for his rancho in 1878, it was too late; he had sold off the entire rancho.  The approximate location of the property at 411 E. Olive Avenue has been marked in Lot 5 of Section 25. 

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