ARABUS, Joseph L.

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ARABUS, Joseph L. (1861-1924), Santa Barbara seaman born on December 1, 1861. Arabus worked on a variety of vessels in the channel waters. In the 1893 directory he was listed as seaman, living at 118 Grey Avenue; in 1897 his residence was on the corner of Mason and Castillo streets.

In 1916 Arabus provided testimony in the Blue Blank, Santa Cruz Island landslide deaths of fishermen Christian Gunderson and Peter Cruz:
Gunderson and Cruz inquest

Joseph Arabus died at age 63 on May 8, 1924 of a pulmonary hemorrorage. Arabus was survived by his wife, Jennie (1863-1954). Arabus is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Santa Barbara [Section C Block 9 Grave 11].


Joseph L. Arabus (1861-1924) = Jennie Valenzuela Arabus (1863-1954) buried in Ivy Lawn, Ventura

  • William Arabus (c. 1880)
  • Margaret (Margarita; Maggie) Arabus (c. 1884) = [Aug. 5, 1912] Alfredo Mateo Ovieda (1886-1942)
  • Marella Arabus (c. 1886)
  • Joseph M. Arabus (c. 1887)
  • Leonora Arabus (c. 1889; dead by 1924)


John Arabus (1861-1924) = Mary Manuela "Nellie" [Ybarra; Guevarra; Evare] (1866-1909)

  • Eugene Ernest Arabus (1900-1941) (Goleta Cemetery: 5 West Space: 56 Division: B; Feb. 5, 1941)


  • Daniel P. Arabus (1903-1931)
  • Elizabeth Arabus (c. 1905; dead by 1924)


1900 census spelled Arrabus:

  • Jose Arrabus, 42
  • Jennie Arrabus, 34
  • Margaret Arrabus, 13
  • Marella Arrabus, 11
  • Leonora Arrabus, 9


1910 census:

  • Joseph L. Arabus, 53
  • Jennie Arabus, 45
  • William Arabus, 30 (by lst wife?)
  • Maggie Arabus, 26 (by lst wife?)
  • Joseph M. Arabus, 23 (by lst wife?)
  • Daniel Arabus, 9 (by 2nd wife?) (Daniel P. Arabus died May 9, 1931 at age 28 in Santa Barbara.)
  • Ernest Arabus, 9 (by 2nd wife?) (Eugene Earnest Arabus died January 31, 1941 at age 40 in Santa Barbara.)
  • Elizabeth Arabus, 5 (by 2nd wife?)


1940 census:

widowed, living on Gray Ave. w/ Clarence Cordero, 19, grandson

Raymond Morillo (39), widowed son-in-law + his 2 sons, Raymond (9) and Ralph (6) [Murillo?]

Indian (1901-1941) Goleta Cemetery [Eugene Earnest]



In the News~

August 5, 1897 [LAT]: “San Pedro. The sloop yacht Olita, Captain W. L. Newton, arrived this morning with a party of pleasure-seekers on board. They came from Santa Barbara by way of Anacapa and the Santa Barbara islands, and after a week’s stay here expect to return by way of San Nicolas Island. Those composing the party are Mrs. W. L. Newton, the captain’s wife, and M. Hogue, Owen O’Neil and Joseph Arabus.”


February 28, 1899 [SFCall]: “Santa Barbara, February 27. For many years it has been thought that Santa Barbara and vicinity were the base of a nest of systematic smugglers. On several occasions during the last ten years the Government has sent detectives here to investigate, and although they always felt sure smuggling was being carried on they have never succeeded in getting any definite information. Last Wednesday, as Captain Arabus of the Olita was rounding the east end of Santa Cruz Island, he saw a strange vessel apparently anchored off the west shore of Anacapa Island, four miles distant. He could see a skiff lowered and three men enter it after considerable delay and make for the shore. With the smuggler stories fresh in mind he made for the strange vessel and got within two miles of her, when she took on board the skiff and made for the open sea… Captain Vasquez of the Pearl also saw the vessel and is of the opinion that she did not want her movements known.”


August 31, 1900 [SBMP]: “The junk Acme sailed yesterday with Joe Arabus in command instead of buccaneer Reina.”


March 26, 1901 [SBDI]: “The sloop Olita, Captain Joe Arabus, left this morning for San Nicolas Island. The Olita will bring over a cargo of abalone meat and shells for local Chinese.”


October 20, 1901 [SBMP]: “The schooner Big Loafer sailed yesterday afternoon for San Pedro in command of Joe Arabus. The Big Loafer will be painted and remodeled at the southern port.”


February 12, 1902 [SBMP]: “The yacht Olita, Captain Joe Arabus, started for the islands yesterday morning after fish, but was forced to return on account of high winds.”


June 1, 1908 Jose de los Santos Arabus married Juana Valenzuela in Santa Barbara on June 1, 1908.


February 3, 1916 [SBDN]: “Accidental death resulting from a landslide on or about January 27, was the finding of the coroner’s jury today in the inquest into the deaths of Peter Kruz and Chriatian Gunderson, who were found dead at their camp on Santa Cruz Island Tuesday. Captain Frank Maglio, who discovered the destroyed camp, and Joe Arabus, who was with him when the bodies were brought to the mainland, testified that the camp was buried under about two feet of earth. Peter Kruz was 52 years old, single, and a native of Sweden. He will be buried in San Pedro at the request of his brother, who telegraphed instructions to Coroner Ruiz today. Christian Gunderson will also be buried in San Pedro where he has two daughters. His wife is dead. Gunderson was 60 years old.”


May 10, 1924 [SBMP]: “Joseph Arabus dies after short illness. Joseph Arabus, 63 years of age, died at his home, 514 Laguna Street Thursday night after a short illness. He is survived by his widow, Jennie Arabus; four sons: William and Marcello of Los Angeles, Ernest and Manuel of Santa Barbara, and two daughters, Maggie Arabus of Burbank and Mrs. Nora Romo of Los Angeles. Funeral services will be held at 3:30 o’clock, Monday afternoon, from the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery.”


May 14, 1924 [SBMP]: “Card of thanks. We wish to express our most heartfelt thanks to our friends for the beautiful floral offerings and for the loving sympathy shown us during our recent bereavement in the death of our loved one. Mrs. Jeannie Arabus. Mrs. Daniel Arabus and the rest of the family.”