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California Genealogy and History Archives

Biographies
of
San Bernardino County and Riverside County

 

JOHN P. DOMECQ came from his native France and established his residence in California more than half a century ago, and here he eventually became one of the pioneer exponents of ranch enterprise in San Bernardino County, where he developed and improved a fine landed estate and won substantial prosperity. He was one of the honored and representative men of the county at the time of his death, which occurred at his fine ranch home near Colton, this county, on the 24th of September, 1892.

Mr. Domecq was born and reared in the Pyrennes Mountain district of France, the year of his birth having been 1846. He received good educational advantages in. his youth, and continued his residence in France until March 22, 1867, when he embarked for the voyage to the United States. He first settled at San Francisco, California, where he engaged in the dairy business, in which he had gained experience in his native land. He later established himself in the same line of enterprise at Los Angles, and in 1882 he came to San Bernardino County, where he entered into a contract with John Anderson, Sr., to plant and develop a vineyard of 160 acres, a provision of the contract being that he should have the supervision of the vineyard until it became productive and was then to receive a deed to the ownership of one-half, or eighty acres, of the tract. It was on this homestead, two and one-half miles northwest of Colton, that he passed the remainder of his life, the place being eligibly situated on Rancho Avenue.

Mr. Domecq had most meager financial resources when he came to this country, but his ability, ambition and persistent application enabled ^im to achieve large and worthy success of material order, the while he stood exemplar of loyal and liberal citizenship, and his sterling character gave him secure place in popular esteem. In San Francisco he married Christina Kupferschlager, and he and his wife were earnest communicants of the Catholic Church and in politics he gave his allegiance to the republican party. After his death his widow assumed active charge of the home ranch, the management of which she successfully continued from 1892 until she, too, passed to the life eternal, her death having occurred on the 1st of September, 1913. Mrs. Domecq was born in the fair old city of Cologne, Germany, June 24, 1852. Of the three children only one survive the honored parents, and this son, Peter J. Domecq, now owns and resides on the old homestead. On this ranch his birth occurred August 17, 1883, and his early education, received in the public schools of Colton and San Bernardino, was supplemented by a course in the Los Angeles Business College. He was but nine years of age at the time of his father's death, and after leaving school he learned the machinist's trade, to which he continued to give his attention as a skilled workman from 1900 to 1919, in the meanwhile continuing to reside with his widowed mother on the old homestead. After the death of her husband Mrs. Domecq set orange trees on eighteen acres of the land and sold twenty acres of the property, at the southeast corner, to James Barnhill. The remainder of the place remains intact and is now a valuable and splendidly improved property. After the death of his devoted mother Peter J. Domecq added to the area of the old home place by purchasing an adjacent tract of sixty-two acres, and this he has planted to grapes. The Domecq ranch is one of the finest and most picturesque in this part of the county, the home standing on a terrace rising above Lytle Creek and commanding a fine view of the mountains, of Colton and of the City of San Bernardino, as well as the valley below. Peter J. Domecq is well maintaining the honors of the family name and is one of the prominent and influential citizens of the Colton District. His political convictions are indicated by his stanch support of the cause of the republican party, but he has had no desire for political activity or public office. He is a member of Ashlar Lodge, F. and A. M., of Colton.

On the 11th of July, 1909, was solemnized the marriage of Peter J. Domecq and Miss Nettie DeWitt. who was born in San Bernardino, July 2, 1886, and who was there reared and educated, she being a daughter of Alonzo DeWitt, of whom individual mention is made in following sketch. To Mr. and Mrs. Domecq were born three children, of whom two are living: Alvin Joseph, who was born December 22, 1914, and June Irene, who was born June 1, 1918. May Christiana was born February 23, 1916, and died July 24, 1918.

 

Source:
History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties 
By: John Brown, Jr., Editor for San Bernardino County 
And James Boyd, Editor for Riverside County 
With selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period 
of growth and achievement.
Volume III, the Western Historical Association, 1922, 
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, ILL

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011