OLIVAS, Jose

From WikiName
Jump to: navigation, search

OLIVAS, Captain Jose de los Santos de Alta Gracias (1848-1907) was baptized April 18, 1848 at Mission Santa Barbara, the son of Jose Dolores Olivas (1796-1860) and Maria Gertrudis Valenzuela (1813-1856). On December 15, 1873 he married Maria de la Concepcion Politana (c. 1856- c. 1900).


Jose Olivas = Maria de la Concepcion Politana

  • 1. Josea Olivas (1887- )
  • 2. Francisco Olivas (1888- )
  • 3. Eduardo Olivas (1890- )
  • Lena Olivas (1893- )



In the News~

October 15, 1891 [LAT/SB]: “Rogers Brothers, of this city, have just completed the equipment of the schooner Ruby for their annual sea otter hunt at the islands and along the north coast. The expedition will be under the immediate charge of Captain Hicks, and the shooters are Jake Nidever, José Olivas and Edward Valencia, lately arrived from Bering Sea. The expedition starts today and will visit San Miguel Island first, thence to Flea Island and San Nicolas. The crew will be away about two months, and it is believed that the season will be a good one.”


June 20, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “Thrilling adventure of two seal hunters at sea… Joe Olivas and Colice Vasquez left Santa Barbara some four or five weeks ago in a small sailboat called the Fishhawk for the islands to fish for seals. They had been moderately successful and had perhaps $100 worth of seal products on board when, on passing from Santa Cruz to Santa Clara [?] Island the bottom came out of their boat and it sank, the two men escaping in a small skiff. This they also lost in making the landing in the surf. They lost their entire outfit - guns, clothing, provisions, everything, barely escaping with their lives.”


September 9, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner Ruby sailed for San Nicolas Island yesterday morning to bring back Joe Olivas and a party of men who have been there for some three weeks past gathering shells.”


September 20, 1893 [SBDI]: “Captain Jose Olivas of the Liberty sails for San Miguel Island this afternoon. He will return in about ten days with Captain Waters.”


December 13, 1898 [SFCall]: “Wave-swept channel rock their haven. Horrible suffering of shipwrecked men. Loss of schooner Helene. Strikes a reef off Santa Cruz Island. Crew of six gains the shore by swimming, after a night spent on a rock washed by the breakers. The schooner Santa Rosa came into port last night bringing six shipwrecked men fro the schooner Helene. These men tell a thrilling tale of their experience after having been shipwrecked off Santa Cruz Island on Thursday evening. While on the east side of Santa Cruz they encountered a southeaster and a very heavy sea. They immediately made for the west end of the island, which is protected from a southeast wind. They anchored off Forney's Cove, at the extreme end of the island, and had lain there three or four hours when a northeaster began blowing down the channel between Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz islands. Three anchors were immediately thrown out, but they were powerless against the heavy wind. It was useless for the crew to attempt to pull up anchor and make to sea. The vessel dragged her anchors, and at about midnight struck a low reef, which forms one side of Forney's Cove, with terrific force, knocking a large hole in her bottom. The vessel turned over on her side, and what provisions were not washed off her deck by the waves which swept over her were destroyed by the water. The six men had great difficulty in saving themselves from being swept off the rigging. The small skiff was unfastened, but as soon as put into the water was capsized. Its oars were thus lost. Finally the crew succeeded in righting it, and fastened one end of a rope to the boat and the other end to the wrecked Helene. They all got in and set the skiff adrift, hoping it would be blown to a small rock about 100 yards from the wreck. This hope was realized. All night long they remained on the rock in a howling wind, soaked to the skin, and the waves washing completely over them every few minutes. Late the next day the tide had lowered sufficiently for them to wade a considerable distance on the reef, and by swimming a few hundred yards they reached the mainland. They found a deserted Chinese cabin, which contained provisions. Here they remained another twenty-four hours when the schooner Santa Rosa happened to see their signal of distress. When the southeaster came up the Santa Rosa had been forced out of Santa Barbara harbor and held in the channel two or three days, seeking a safe harbor. She was within three or four miles of the west end when Captain Burtis saw the signal of distress. The wind was blowing a terrific gale at the time, and it was with great risk that an anchorage was made and the men rescued. When found they were in a sorry condition, all being chilled through and through. Ramon Vasquez, an old sea captain, was in command of the Helene. He was in a serious condition when picked up. He could neither move a muscle nor make a sound. At a late hour today the attending physician said that he could not live many hours. The other five men, although badly bruised and exhausted, are not in a serious condition. The men on the vessel were: Ramon Vasquez, Joseph Leva, Colais [sic] Vasquez, Joe Olivas, Joe Cota and Charles Thrift. The Helene was built in this city at a cost of $5000, but was never considered a seaworthy vessel. She was four years old, and was registered at fifteen tons. She was the property of Edwards & Co., local hardware men. The Helene had been catching seals alive for Rogers Bros. of this city, who trained them and sold them to Easterners.”


July 13, 1907 [SBMP]: “Jose Olivas, a pioneer otter hunter, a native of Santa Barbara, and for many years a resident of the Channel Islands, died suddenly yesterday afternoon at the home of Mrs. Madeline Morgan on Bath Street. Olivas had gone to make a friendly call at the Moraga home, she being a relative; and sat on the porch for a few moments. He complained of feeling ill, and said the heat was oppressive, and he was invited into the house, where he sat for a time on a sofa near an open window, saying that the breeze was most refreshing. A few moments later, Mrs. Moraga noticed that he was choking, and hurried to his assistance, but he expired within a few moments. An inquest was held last evening by Coroner Ruiz at the McDermott undertaking establishment, and the jury found that death was due to Apoplexy. Olivas was 62 years of age. For the past two years he had been employed on Santa Cruz Island, and came to Santa Barbara but a few days ago. He had spent the greater part of his life either on the islands or on the sea, and was considered one of the best otter hunters in the service when that industry was enjoying its greatest prosperity. He was with the H. Liebes Company of San Francisco and the Alaska Commercial Company for many years. He was of large build, weighing 240 pounds, and of jovial disposition; island camping parties deeming themselves especially fortunate if they could secure his services, both by reason if his interesting companionship and his intimate acquaintance with the archipelago. His knowledge of the location of the richest curio deposits was particularly valuable to collectors. His wife died many years ago. Two daughters, one residing in Los Angeles and the other in Oakland, survive him. Mrs. Bodie, wife of the former police judge, is a sister of the deceased. The funeral arrangements have not been announced.”


July 14, 1907 [LAT]: Pioneer hunter dies. Jose Olivas, pioneer otter hunter, who has traveled and trapped from the glaciers of Alaska to the wondrous beauties of the Channel Islands, a native of Santa Barbara, dropped dead here yesterday afternoon of apoplexy at the home of Mrs. Madeline Moraga, a near relative. He was 62 years old. Olivas was well known to thousands, who have gone to the Channel Islands, where he was a valued guide. He knew all the islands like a book. His wife died many years ago. He leaves two daughters, one living in Los Angeles, and the other in Oakland.”