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Antone Quijada

Antone Quijada was born in Calaveritas in 1876, the son of Antonio Quijada and Francisca Guiterra, who were married in Mokelumne Hill in 1866. The senior Quijada was born in Chile ca. 1843, and naturalized by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The family resided in several places in Calaveras County: Mokelumne Hill, Mosquito Gulch (Glencoe), Calaveritas, San Domingo Camp, and Esmeralda, with Antonio noting his occupation as “farmer” (Calaveras County Great Registers of Voters, 1866, 1888).

Antonio Quijada died in 1890, leaving his 80-acre ranch, located on the ridge between Calaveritas and San Domingo creeks, to his sons Louis and Joseph. The Genocchio family, for whom Antonio worked, then took care of young Antone (Neal 2010). By the early 1900s Antone had homestead property near Esmeralda, selling it in 1903 (Deed Book 44:651). From 1902 to his death in 1951, Antone was registered to vote in the Altaville Precinct, noting his occupation as “laborer” (Calaveras County Great Registers of Voters, various), where he worked on ranches, on the nearby Calaveras Central Mine, and for the Works Progress Administration (WPA).

When Antone married Edna Tarr in 1915, they were attended by his brother David and Dollie Sabini, Edna’s cousin (Calaveras County Marriage Book G:257). Edna, who was one-quarter Mi-Wuk, was born on Washington Flat, the daughter of Margaret Henderson and Jasper Tarr (married at the Slab Ranch in 1889). Edna was deaf, due to a childhood illness, and others, including her daughter Tillie, translated for her. The Tarrs resided in a home on the Angels Deep Mine (Slab Ranch Mine) property, where Jasper worked.

Margaret/Maggie Henderson was the daughter of Mary Ginn and Sanford Henderson. Mary was a full-blooded Mi-Wuk who was later married to Washington Flat rancher Henry Ginn (owner of the later Massoni Ranch on property where her family had resided for generations). Although married to Euro-Americans, the Mi-Wuk women continued to reside within a few miles of their ancient village for several generations after the Gold Rush (Calaveras County Native American Genealogies).

Antone and Edna had nine children, five of whom lived to adulthood (Annie, Josephine, William/Billy, Tillie Bessie, and Martin Bert) in various locations near the Slab Ranch (Rolleri Ranch). After their marriage they resided in a home located on the east side of the present Rolleri Bypass, just south of the quarry (Edith Ross, personal communication 2000), then at the Birney Ranch (originally the Allen Taylor Ranch, now part of the Rolleri Ranch) where their children Frank and Julia died in 1927 (Calaveras County Inquest Records), and daughter Tillie was born in 1930, delivered by her aunt Tillie Jeff (a Mi-Wuk), for whom she was named. After the death of Edna’s uncle John Sabini in 1932, the family moved to his former home on the project property, where their son, Martin Bert, was born in 1935 (Neal 2010).

The Quijada family (Edna, Annie, and Josephine) was signed up on the Indian rolls by Romie Rolleri when the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) conducted their Census of California Indians (1928-1933).

Sometime thereafter the Quijadas moved into the Johnson house on the neighboring ranch, then owned by Romie Rolleri, where one of Antone’s primary occupations was irrigating the Rolleri’s Slab Ranch property (Banchero 2000; Neal, 2010).

When Quijada died in 1951, his occupation was noted as “pensioner,” evidently to the Rolleri family (Register of Deaths Book 8:307). Edna died in San Andreas in 1992, at over 100 years of age. The Johnson house stood vacant after his death until Romie Rolleri tore it down in 1955 (Banchero 1994; Calaveras County Assessment Roll 1955).

The house was recalled by Antone and Edna’s daughter Tillie Quijada Pullen as the “Little House,” the “Big House,” being the Johnson house (Neal 2010). The Little House was a one-story frame building with a corrugated metal roof and single-wall vertical board and batten siding. The house had a kitchen, pantry, and two bedrooms. A cellar, with an entry on the west side, was located beneath the house and was entered through a door from the outside porch, which was located on the north primary façade and wrapped around the west elevation. A woodshed adjoined the house on the east side. A large oak tree stood by the house, where the family hung their food in screened boxes to keep it cool.

An outhouse, with a concrete floor, was located “down the hill” from the house, while household garbage was dumped into a “big hole,” also down the hill. Water was obtained from a well near the Murphys Grade Road; when it went dry, Tillie and her father had to haul water. The house was torn down by Tillie and her father in the early 1950s and the lumber sold to the La Honda summer resort, where it was used to build a cabin that stands today.

The family never grew vegetables or raised livestock on the property, but purchased all their goods at Tony Oneto’s “little” store, located across Main Street from the Serbian Orthodox Church. Tillie noted that the family ran a tab at the store, and found out later that they had been cheated. When Tillie was older she lived in town, babysitting, ironing, and cooking for a family, returning home on weekends.

Tillie, who worked 25 years as a nurse at the Mark Twain Convalescent Hospital, and her brother Martin are the only surviving children of the family. She recalled her uncle Joseph (known as Yellowjacket) fondly, but noted that he was the town drunk. She also recalled that her mother took care of her grandfather Jasper Tarr, and that she later visited her aunt Susie Tarr, who worked many years as a nurse in San Francisco (Neal 2010).


By Judith Marvin