The del ValIe Family

Three generations of del Valles served their country through
either military service or in responsible governmental positions
under the Mexican government and the new government of
California. Their lives were closely associated with the most
prominent and influential citizens of Mexico and California
during the tumultuous years of California's entrance into the
United States and its rise from a rural state to one of power and

Antonio del Valle, a native of Compostela, Mexico, played a
prominent role in both the Spanish and Mexican colonization of
California. He arrived in California in 1819 as a lieutenant in the
San Bias Infantry, responsible for delivering forty men to the
presidio of San Francisco. New troops were called to reinforce
the garrisons that had been attacked the previous year by the
privateer Bouchard. The Company moved to Monterey and
Antonio became commander in 1822. In 1824 he was placed in
charge of secularizing the San Fernando Mission and served as
majordomo until 1837. In recognition of his years of military
service, he received the 48,612 acre Rancho San Francisco
grant in 1839.

Ygnacio del Valle, son of Antonio, began his military service in
1825 as a cadet at the Santa Barbara Presidio. Following his
training, he accompanied Comandante General Don Jose
Echeandia to San Diego and served as staff adjutant and
harbormaster in San Diego until 1832. By 1832 he had attained
the rank of second lieutenant and was put in charge of the San
Gabriel Mission. The following year he joined the Monterey
presidial company and under Governor Figueroa was put in
charge of the secularization of the Santa Cruz and San
Francisco missions. As a trusted officer, Ygnacio was charged
with the military command at: Monterey during Figueroa's
absence. He left the military in 1839. As a reward for his
services to the government, he was granted Rancho Tejon in

Continuing in public service, Ygnacio del Valle accepted
numerous positions of importance in both the Mexican and
American governments. During the 1840s he served as a
member and secretary of the junta (council), and treasurer of
civil government under Governor Pio Pico. In 1850 he was
elected  recorder of Los Angeles County and in 1852, he was
elected to the California legislature. His residence, located near
the plaza in Los Angeles was the center for political meetings.

Ygnacio's son Reginaldo was born in the family home on the
Plaza in 1854, the second child born to Ygnacio and Ysabel
Varela after their marriage in 1852. Perhaps it was his father's
influence and the numerous political meetings held at the house
that led Reginaldo into public life. By 1873, he graduated with
honors from the Santa Clara College in San Jose and by 1871 he
was admitted to the bar and elected to the Assembly in 1880. In
1882, at the age of 28, he was the youngest member ever
elected as president of the State Senate.
Although he lost- the 1884 congressional campaign, he
continued to work for the Democratic Party as a delegate to
numerous state conventions and as elector in almost all
presidential elections. Following his campaigning for Grover
Cleveland in 1893, he was offered ministries to Chile and Japan,
which he declined.

In addition to Democratic politics, Reginaldo del Valle had a
great interest in California history and promoted it through
preservation efforts due in large part to the influence of his
close friend, Charles Lummis. Together with Lummis, Reginaldo
was a founding member of the Landmarks Club of Southern
California, formed in 1887 to advocate for the restoration of the
missions. He was one of the forty founding members of the
Southern California Historical Society and spearheaded the
committee to restore the San Fernando Mission and to mark the
El Camino Real with bells.

In 1913 Reginaldo was appointed by Woodrow Wilson as his
personal representative to Mexico, and in 1914 was appointed
president of the Los Angeles Public Service Board, later known
as the Water and Power Commission on which he served for
more than 20 years.

For a glimpse at the del Valle Family Tree
click here
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Ygnacio del Valle

Born: 15 Dec 1854 Los
Angeles, CA

Married: 02 Sep 1890
Hellen M. (White)

Died: 20 Sep 1938
Born: 01 Jul 1808
Compostela, Jalisco, Mexico

Married: 14 Dec 1851
Ysabel Varela

Died: 30 Mar 1880
Ulpiano del Valle

Born: 1837

Died: March 28 1905
Ysabel Varela del Valle
Reginaldo Francisco del Valle
Born: Mar 2,1865
Rancho Camulos

Married: October 22, 1906,  
Clara Dowling

Died: February 27, 1936
Nena del Valle Cram (with guitar)
and Susanita del Valle
Group photo:
(1) Señora Ysabel del Valle, mother of
Josefa; (2,3,4) unknown;
(5) Senator Reginaldo del Valle
All Rights Reserved 2009
Rancho Camulos Museum
on the steps of the Large Adobe
Did You Know?
many stayed at Rancho Camulos enjoying
the hospitality of Senora del Valle and her