REVEL, Ulrico

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REVEL, Ulrico (1868-1928), Italian-born Santa Cruz Island Company employee who emigrated in 1899, and declared his intention of becoming a U.S. citizen in 1906 in Santa Barbara. He became a citizen in 1913. According to 1906 company records, Revel resigned as superintendent in 1906. His brother Ottavio Revel ( - ) was hired in his place, but “proved to be absolutely unfit for the position.” A third brother, Ugo Revel ( - ), was then hired. In 1920 Ulrico Revel lived in Santa Barbara with the Olivari family as a lodger. Revel again became island superintendent for two years, from October, 1921 through October, 1923, after Clifford McElrath left the island in 1921. Revel’s salary had increased from $100 a month to $125 a month by the time he quit. McElrath later wrote: “An elderly man named Revel had taken my place as superintendent.” According to Revel's obituary, he “had been operating manager of Santa Cruz Island for 25 years under the old operating company. When the island interests were divided several years ago by the heirs [1925], he resigned his position, but became identified with those holding the interests of the eastern end of the island, two years ago.” Revel, who didn’t marry, died November 13, 1928 in Santa Barbara and is buried in an unmarked grave at Santa Barbara Cemetery. He was 60 years old at the time of his death.

In the News~

May 16, 1913 [SBDN]: “Ulrich Revel, who has long served as superintendent of Santa Cruz Island, today with the county clerk his petition for final citizenship papers.”

April 24, 1914 [SBMP]: “Superintendent Revel came over from Prisoners’ Harbor in the Otter yesterday morning accompanied by his foreman of vaqueros to gather up a force of sheep shearers for the semi-annual wool clip on the island, in which operations will commence next Monday. About 25 or 30 men will be taken over by the Otter tomorrow for this work.”

April 20, 1915 [SBMP]: “Shearers to Island. The Santa Cruz sailed for Prisoners’ Harbor yesterday morning with Superintendent Revel and 25 sheep shearers that he had collected for the annual sheep searing on the Caire ranch. There are between 30,000 and 40,000 sheep to handle, and the job is expected to take about 60 days.”

May 6, 1916 [SBDN]: “Thieves steal thousands of Santa Cruz Island sheep. Activity of sheep and cattle thieves on Santa Cruz Island has developed a very serious problem, which the Caire Company is seeking to solve. Profits are taken from sheep raising by these thefts. Thousands of sheep are being stolen during the year. Such is the report which U. Ravelle, superintendent the island, brings to Santa Barbara… Superintendent Revel was working on this problem when called to the colors, and had to hurriedly leave for Italy. He was naturalized two years ago, but deemed it a moral duty to respond to the call, otherwise he would have remained to put in force a means of capturing the sheep and cattle thieves.”

May 11, 1916 [LAT]: “That thousands of head of sheep are being stolen yearly from Santa Cruz Island by gasoline-boat pirates, is the report brought here by U. Revello, superintendent of the island, which is owned by the Caire estate. The owners are now planning a launch patrol in an effort to capture the thieves. It is claimed by Revello that the launches hail from San Pedro and other southern points. The sheep graze along the slopes of the island. They are easily shot from launches, roll to the beach and the carcasses can be quickly secured without danger of detection. The ranch patrols have caught one boat loaded with the carcasses of sixteen sheep and two beeves. Sheriff Nat Stewart today began plans to take a hand in breaking up the thefts.”

May 11, 1916 [LAT]: “Private detectives in the employ of large cattle raisers yesterday began an investigation of butcher shops of this city in the endeavor to find the accomplice or ‘fence’ used by a band of combination pirates, cattle rustlers and sheep stealers who have been scientifically preying upon the great cattle and sheep ranches on the Channel Islands... According to a statement given out by U. Revel, superintendent of the Santa Cruz Island Ranch, his company already has suffered a monetary loss that will eat up the profits of the year.”

May 12, 1916 [OC]: “Motorboat pirates steal sheep. Another form of criminal work by the use of gasoline engines came to light when the Caire company of Santa Cruz Island discovered that their sheep were being shot from high power gasoline launches and the carcasses taken to the large cities on the coast for sale. Private detectives are searching Los Angeles to discover the place where the animals have been marketed. They are endeavoring to find the accomplice or ‘fence’ used by a band of combination pirates, cattle rustlers and sheep stealers who have been scientifically preying upon the great cattle and sheep ranches on the Channel Islands. Using swift gasoline launches and high-powered rifles this band has been preying on the big ranch companies of the islands, Santa Cruz in particular, with the result that the heads of the company have issued orders for unremitting war against the looters. Months ago the superintendent of the ranches established on several of the islands noticed that serious and inexplicable losses were occurring among their cattle and sheep. But it was not until two weeks ago than an answer was found to the puzzle. One of the launches belonging to the Caire company… suddenly came across a high-powered launch, manned by four roughly dressed and armed men, heading south. The company’s boat passed as close as possible and the crew were able to see that the strange launch was filled with carcasses of dead sheep. Chase was started, but the strange launch soon outdistanced its pursuer. This remarkable discovery galvanized the officials of the cattle company into action. A string of patrol boats was organized, and the coastline of the island dotted with private detectives and guards. Three days passed and another pirate ship was almost captured. The plan followed by the pirates is to cruise along the coastlines of the islands. Immediately upon sighting cattle or sheep grazing along the slopes of the coast they commence shooting with high-powered rifles. The carcasses roll or are dragged down to the waterline and are loaded into the launches. The cleaning is done while speeding away to safety. According to a statement given out by U. Revello, superintendent of the Santa Cruz Island ranch, his company already has suffered a monetary loss that will eat up the profits of the year.”

August 18, 1922 [Loye Miller, Santa Cruz Island unpublished field notes]: “…We drive up the canyon three miles in a two-wheeled cart to call on the overseer, a very blonde Italian by the name of Revel, and presented our credentials. We were treated very courteously and given freedom of the island…”

November 14, 1928 [SBMP]: “While seated in a chair before his desk, death came to U. Revel in his room at 1224 Chapala Street, probably Monday night…”