Sharp & Savvy: Fernando Tico (1798 – 1861)
by David Mason
Fernando Tico was born in the small town of San Francisco on April 9, 1798, at 8 o’clock in the morning. He was baptized the next day and given the names:
Fernando Jose Maria Ignacio Martin Tico.
Mr. Tico married Maria Margarita Lopez at the Santa Barbara Mission in 1821 and they had three children. He also served as mayor for the town of Santa Barbara.
Tragedy entered Mr. Tico’s life in 1834 when his wife died. Soon afterwards, Mr. Tico married Maria de Jesus Silvestra Ortega and twelve children were born of that marriage.
The Rancho Ojai was granted to Mr. Tico in 1837, by Governor Juan B. Alvarado. At that time, the Ojai Valley was part of Santa Barbara County, and the Mexican land grant consisted of 17,716.83 acres.
With the cession of California to the United States following the Mexican-American War, the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo provided that the land grants would be honored. As required by the Land Act of 1851, a claim for Rancho Ojai was filed with the Public Land Commission in 1852.
In the transcripts of the proceedings, depositions were taken to insure Mr. Tico’s rights to the Ojai Valley. Andrus Pico wrote: “My name is Andrus Pico, my age is 42 years. I was born in California. I know the Ranch called Ojai; it is in Santa Barbara County. Fernando Tico first occupied it in 1831 and has continued to occupy it ever since with cattle, horses, a house and corrals”.
The deposition of Pedro C. Carrillo was somewhat longer.
“Question: Will you now state what you know concerning the occupation and inhabitancy of this Rancho by Fernando Tico?”
“Answer: Tico established himself on the Rancho Ojai by permission from Padre Blas Ordaz in the year 1836. He built a corral and a house or hut built of sticks in which he lived with his family. In the year 1837 he got a grant from the Governor and built a fine adobe house about three miles to the westward of the house he first occupied and I have known him to live in it ever since that time in the Rancho with his family, cultivating, having cattle, horses and sheep in the place.” Mr. Tico’s land grant was approved by the Public Land Commission.
Mr. Tico served as Constable in the town of Ventura, he was the Justice of the Peace and in the same year he was elected to the first Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors [in 1854].
In 1853, Mr. Tico sold the Rancho Ojai to Henry Starrow Carnes of Santa Barbara.
Fernando Tico died on December 29, 1861; and his body was the last to be buried in the cemetery at the Ventura Mission.
5 Replies to “Sharp & Savvy: Fernando Tico”
The picture above is of Fernando Tico’s (b. 1798) son Fernando A. F. Tico (b.1836). The oldest of his children born to his 2nd wife Maria de Jesus Silvestra Ortega.
Fernando Tico passed away Nov 27th 1861.
Thank you for the “Head’s Up” about the incorrect photo. A few minutes ago, I removed it from the article and replaced it with a proper photo. Are you absolutely positive about the date of death of Tico? The date that was in the story was incorrect, so I changed it to Dec. 29, 1861. Not the date you suggest. Where did you obtain the date you propose?
— Drew Mashburn (Volunteer with the Ojai Valley Museum)
San Buenaventura Mission Records show Fernando Tico died December 28, 1861 and was buried December 29, 1861. This record can be found at the Huntington Library – https://www.huntington.org/ecpp
[S082] Alta Cal Msn Bk #44_1782-1896_Sn Bnvent_Bur, Mission San Buenaventura, (Thomas Workman Temple III), 29 Dec 1861.
#1203) Dec 29 - Ano de 1861 dia 29 de Dbre. yo el abajo firmado di sepultura eclesiastica en el ceminterio de esta Parroquia
de S. Buenaventura al cadaver de FERNANDO TICO, natural de San Francisco, Cal. haviendo recibido los Santos Sacramentos de Penitencia y Extrema Uncion, era casado con Maria de Jesus Ortega y murio el dia 28 a la edad de 63 anos. Y parque conste lo firmo. Juan Comapla, C.P.
Thank you for the corrections. Im sure the date that’s in the Mission records would be correct.