BOTILLER, Felix

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BOTILLER, Felix (1857-1901), Santa Cruz Island Company employee who accidentally drowned while working on the company’s schooner Santa Cruz. He was tenth of fifteen children born to native Californio, Pascual Baylon Botiller (1816-1886), and his wife Maria Feliciana Rafaela Carlon (1821-1917):

  • Maria Francesca Alvina Botiller (1838-1838)
  • Maria del Patracinio Botiller (1839-1925)
  • Josepha Botiller (1842-1892)
  • Adelfrida del Refugio Botiller (1844-1844)
  • Maria Antonia Botiller (1845-1931)
  • Maria de Jesus Botiller (1847-1940)
  • Maria Tadea Botiller (1849-1857)
  • Joaquin Botiller (1850-1919)
  • Pascual Felix Botiller (1857-1901)
  • Maria Rosa Tadia Botiller (1859-1936)
  • Antonio Botiller (1862-1894)
  • Marguerita Maria de los Angeles Botiller (1866-1902)
  • infant Botiller (1870-1870)

His father, Pascual Botiller, a Frenchman, had vineyards in the area of his home, which gave rise to the street name De la Vina (of the vine). Botiller supplied Santa Barbara housewives with fresh vegetables year around from his large garden east of the Presidio.

The 1888 New Directory of Santa Barbara lists Felix Botiller, “ranchero,” residing at the south corner of Carrillo and Bath streets. The 1896 Great Register of the County of Santa Barbara lists Felix Botiller, laborer, age 38, 5 feet 8 inches tall with dark complexion, brown eyes and brown hair, native of California. The Botiller family adobe at 1023 Bath Street is a designated landmark in the city of Santa Barbara.


1886 Santa Barbara Directory: “Botiller, Felix. Laborer. Residence Bath St. above Carrillo.”



In the News~

September 3, 1886 [SBDP]: “Felix Botiller was bound over in Judge Ord’s court today, in $200, to keep the peace.”


April 26, 1888 [SBMP]: “The sloop Brisk, formerly owned by F. F. Botiller, has been purchased by Alex. More, Jr. The price paid was $400.”


June 24, 1897 [SBMP]: “Felix Botiller was arrested yesterday on a warrant from Judge Crane on the charges of disturbing the peace. He pled not guilty and his trial was set for two o’clock tomorrow.”


January 11, 1901 [SBMP]: “Captain E. Manuel Maggiolo of the schooner Santa Cruz arrived from the islands yesterday and reported the death of Felix Botiller by drowning on the evening of the 8th. The schooner left here Tuesday morning for Santa Cruz Island. She had not proceeded far before heavy weather was encountered. The storm that was raging grew worse as they proceeded, but the little craft was perfectly capable of living through the storm. When nearing the island it was decided that it would be impossible to make a landing, as the breakers were running high on the shore. Botiller was left on deck while the captain and other employees went below, but when they returned Botiller was missing. A search was made for him, but it proved of no avail. He had been washed overboard and drowned or beaten to death by the angry waves on the rocks. The drowned man was a resident of this city and had lived here for many years.”


January 11, 1901 [LAH]: “Santa Barbara, Cal. Jan. 10. The schooner Santa Cruz made this port tonight from the island of Santa Cruz. She reports the death by drowning on January 8 of Felix Botiller of this city. The others aboard were eating in the cabin. Botiller was last seen at 6 o’clock in the evening. He was missed later and must have been washed overboard. His mother and sisters, Madames Coleman and F. Fazio reside in Ventura. Botiller was well known here. The schooner’s captain is Emanuel Majolo [Maggiolo].”


January 12, 1901 [LAT/SB]: “A Spanish man [Felix Botiller] employed on the schooner Santa Cruz was lost overboard while the vessel was near San Miguel Island on the 3rd inst.”


January 22, 1901 [SBMP]: “Rosalind Vasquez returned Saturday evening from the islands after an unsuccessful search for the body of Felix Botillier who was drowned several days ago. The search will be continued, and relatives of the unfortunate man have offered inducements for the recovery of the remains.”