DEVINE, William

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William E. Devine (1872-1928)

DEVINE, William E. (1872-1928) Indiana-born caretaker on San Miguel Island who lived on the island with his younger brother, Francis Lawrence (1882-1949), and his widowed Irish mother, Margaret (1849- ), who had immigrated in 1860. On April 27, 1904 William Devine married Emma Baudistel. He died in Santa Barbara at age 56 and is buried in Goleta Cemetery. There is no headstone.

In the News~

April 14, 1895 [SFCall]: “One of nature’s convulsions. San Miguel Island, April. It has fallen to my lot to present the readers of the Call with the first accurate and reliable account, from the testimony of an eye witness, of the mysterious convulsions that have taken place at Cuyler’s Harbor on San Miguel Island, completely changing the aspect of the harbor along its inner shore. It was on Monday, the 25th of March, that passage was taken of the island of San Miguel on the sloop Liberty, which had come in two days previously and lay at anchor in the [Santa Barbara] harbor. The purpose of the Call correspondent had not been published abroad, but a very great interest was manifested in Santa Barbara as to the personnel of passengers booked for this trip of the little sloop. It is perhaps only fair to own that the Call correspondent went aboard the sloop in a very quiet and unostentatious manner, and the list of the Liberty’s cabin passengers only showed that Mrs. Devine, the housekeeper of San Miguel ranch, had taken passage that day, accompanied by her daughter, having in charge a brilliant scarlet and green parrot whose home is on the island, but who has been spending the season at the Arlington [Hotel], as benefits a bird of high degree… Then an anxious voice was heard. It was the voice of young Will Devine, the man on watch above…”

July 14, 1895 [SFCall]: “…This report, they state, was also heard at the ranch house, nine miles distant, by Mrs. Devine, the housekeeper, and her two sons — Will, a young man of 25, and Francis, a boy of 13…”

August 7, 1895 [SBDI]: “Will Devine came over from the island last night. Ramón Vasquez returned at ten o’clock with Will Devine, who has been on the island since March. His mother and younger brother remained at San Miguel, though they are expected in Santa Barbara as soon as a suitable boat can be provided. Mr. Devine reports that the earthquake was not noted on San Miguel, and that since the disturbance at Flea Island on June 8th, there have been no changes. Since the wreck of the sloop Liberty, communication with the mainland has not been regular, but the family has suffered great inconvenience, further than a lack of vegetables and one or two other articles of food. As soon as a stock of provisions is laid in, Devine expects to return, possibly in about a week.”

August 8, 1895 [SBDI]: “Will Devine was speaking yesterday of the changes on Flea Island, and his statements support those of Antonio Caballero, as published at the time in the Independent. Devine says that he was on San Miguel quite a distance from the shore, and about twelve miles from Flea Island, yet the report was heard so distinctly that he thought some boat had come into the harbor and fired a cannon. With this idea, he went down to the bay and was quite surprised to find no ship in sight.”

July 6, 1901 [SBMP]: “William Devine, mother and brother Frank, returned from San Miguel Island on the 4th, after a nine months stay on the island. Mr. Devine says Lompoc has the name of being windy, but he will still gamble on San Miguel.”

August 7, 1928 [SBMP]: “William Devine, 56, died last night in a local hospital. He had been an invalid for the past two and a half years. He was a native of Indiana, and came to Santa Barbara 35 years ago. He was formerly employed by the Southern California Edison Company. Mr. Devine is survived by his widow, Mrs. Emma Devine, and one brother, Francis L. of Santa Barbara. Interment will be in Goleta Cemetery.”