ADARGO, Joseph

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ADARGO, Joseph (1857-1935) native Californian who went to Santa Catalina Island as a boy in 1863. He was employed by Frank Whittley with his island sheep operations, and grew up on the island with Mexican Joe Presiado. When the Bannings purchased the island, he moved his family to Avalon. [Mother and six children?] For many years he operated glass-bottom rowboats and small fishing launches, including Favorita and Eva. He also was an expert horseman and stagecoach driver.

In 1915 he was one of the original twelve members of the Santa Catalina Island Twenty-Five Year Club.

Joseph Adargo and his wife, Dolores “Lola” DeSoto. (1859-1916), whom he married in 1883, and their children, lived in Avalon. His sister, Manuela Nellie Adargo, married Frank Paul Whittley (1848-1902).

  • 2. Leopoldina “Pauline” Adargo (1889-1954) [SS#569-07-3202] = Tony Freitas [/ = Francis?]
[In Avalon Cemetery as Pauline Adargo McClintock]
1. Evangeline "Vange" Freitas/Adargo-grandparents name (1907-1998) = McClintock (d. 1946) [Feb. 20, 1998 [TI/Avalon]
1. Everett G. Adargo (1918-1971) [SS#569-09-5444]
2. Kendrick Edward Adargo (1920-1991)[SS#571-12-0558]=[1964] Shirley Maxine Speights (1937-1992)
3. Susanne R. Adargo (1928-1995) [SS#565-30-1154] = Goulet


MANUELA NELLIE ADARGO (1860-1920) THE SISTER OF JOE ADARGO (1857-1935) See Joe Presiado. son Alex? (1885-1943) married Nellie C. Adam of Los Angeles.



In the News~

June 13, 1901 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. Chappie’s big rowboat, which went adrift in the storm, has been picked up at Laguna, but in such a damaged condition as to render it worthless. The other rowboat lost from Chappie’s string, which was owned by Joe Adargo, has not been reported.”


September 13, 1901 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. Captain S. P. Hensley and Frank Cochran started out this morning for two or three days of goat shooting. They have Joe Adargo as guide, and will make their headquarters at Eagle’s Nest.”


January 2, 1902 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. Surprising vaudeville… three little daughters of Joe Adargo rendered several songs most acceptably…”


February 2, 1902 [LAT]: “Avalon. February 1. The Santa Catalina Island Company is shipping today four wild goats to the Glenwood Hotel, Riverside, for a zoo at the terminus of the streetcar line down Magnolia Avenue, another attraction to that beautiful spot. There are two big, ferocious billies with majestic horns, and whiskers that make the average Populist look like 30 cents, and two does. They were captured by Joe Adargo, an island guide, who was brought from Catalina with the goats and knows all their tricks. He established a camp out in the wilds in the vicinity of Eagle’s Nest, with one of his fleetest horses, and patiently watched his opportunity to catch a band far enough from cover to allow his giving chase, for they seldom wander out of the roughest canyons, or else have a cover of brush into which to dart for protection…”


August 19, 1903 [LAT/SCat]: “Col. Griffith and Mr. Sweeney of San Francisco were goat shooting yesterday, going up to Catalina Harbor on the Sunbeam, where they were met by Joe Adargo, the island guide, with horses. They brought home half a dozen good heads.”


November 21, 1903 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. Dr. M. B. Williams of Chicago, who is a thorough sportsman and has hunted and fished all over the country, is now at Catalina doing things with the fish and goats. Wednesday he was out with Joe Adargo after goats, getting two fine heads which he is having mounted. Incidentally he got an island fox and a dozen quail. The former he is also having mounted.”


March 16, 1904 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. Albert Lieber of Indianapolis was out after goats this morning with Joe Adargo, the island guide, and corralled four fine Billies.”


April 30, 1904 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. H. H. Read, for twenty-two years a resident of Shanghai, China, who is now seeing the United States, was out yesterday with Joe Adargo, the island guide, after wild goats. He succeeded in getting four fine Billies.”


July 6, 1904 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The marine tugs of war, yesterday afternoon was as spirited and exciting an event as an enthusiastic sportsman could desire… There were five rowers in each team, the winning team composing Mexican Joe, Hawley Farnsworth, John Robarts, George Michaelis and Alex Adargo. Opposing them were Tommy Whittley, George Farnsworth, ‘Chappie,’ Staples and Lindscow…”


March 14, 1916 [TI/Avalon]: “The funeral of the late Mrs. Lola Adargo was held Wednesday forenoon at the Wilmington Catholic Church and was very largely attended. The deceased was formerly a resident of Wilmington, having been born in this city. She had lived at Avalon, Catalina for the past fifteen years, and at the time of her death was 57 years of age. She leaves a husband, Joe Adargo, four daughters and three sons. Rosie, Catalina, Ester, Pauline, Alex, Everett and Peter Adargo, children of the deceased, were present at the funeral in Wilmington.”


January 23, 1917 [TI/Avalon]: “Instead of signing a professional contract to becoe a dancer of the hula styles for a few months, Miss Ester Adargo, last Tuesday, entered into a matrimonial agreement with her manager, Charles B. Reagar. The ceremony was performed at the home of the bride’s sister, Miss Pauline Adargo, Ocean Park… At the age of five, Ester, who is the daughter of Captain Joe Adargo, could swim like a fish, and in diving for coins at the arrival of the steamers from the mainland, she, for several years, held the title ‘Catalina Mermaid.’ Then, a beautiful and agile performer in the water, she left this city to win fame on the stage…”


June 26, 1917 [TI/Avalon]: “Miss Catalina Adargo has returned from her winter vacation on the mainland.”


J [TI/Avalon]: “The seventy-third birthday of Captain Joe Adargo ws celebrated Saturday evening, when he was given a surprise dinner at the Spanish Kitchen, by his sons and daughters, including Mrs. Rose Lee James and husband; Mr. and Mrs. Everett Adargo; Mr. and Mrs. Alex Adargo; and Pete Adargo… Captain Joe was born in Los Angeles in 1853, and is a real Avalon old-timer. Years ago, under the Banning Company management, he was one of the lifeguards. Someone asked Joe how he kept so young. He replied: ‘Rowing a glass-bottomed boat.’ He makes several trips a day in his rowboat over to the submarine gardens. Joe’s many friends will join us in wishing him many happy returns of the day.’”


June 6, 1935 [TI/Avalon]: “Funeral services were held at the Plaza Church, Los Angeles, last Saturday for the late Captain Joseph Adargo, aged 82, who died at his home in Wilmington, May 29. As a young lad the deceased was baptized in the same church. The Captain is survived by three sons and three daughters: Alex, Everett and Peter, all residents of Avalon, and Mrs. Pauline McClintock, Mrs. Esther Taverner, and Mrs. Catalina Godman, who reside in Wilmington and Los Angeles. Interment was at the Wilmington Cemetery. Born in Wilmington in 1853, Joseph Adargo came to Catalina Island when a boy of ten. (He was a great friend of the late ‘Mexican Joe’ Presciado who came to the island in 1850.) Around these two famous characters Dr. Charles Ferderick Holder wrote many interesting fishing stories. As a boy, Joseph Adargo, who was also called ‘Mexican Joe,’ was not only an expert fisherman, but [also] a stage driver and skillful horseman. He was one of the riders of the many fast horses owned by Captain Phineas Banning, who operated stages between Wilmington, San Pedro and Los Angeles. Later, he came to reside at Avalon and operate his fishing and glass-bottom rowboats. For the past three years he had lived on the mainland with his daughters.”