WATERS, William G

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William G. Waters (1838-1917)
William G. Waters (1838-1917)

WATERS, William G. (1838-1917), born August 14, 1838 in Gorham, Maine, the seventh of nine children born to George Washington Waters and Sarah Forbes Waters. Waters purchased one half interest in San Miguel Island for $10,000 in November 1887. He had been living in San Francisco with his wife, Mirantha “Minnie,” until he invested his wife’s funds in the island, and they came to Santa Barbara. Minnie had adopted a little girl prior to her marriage to Waters, Edith Scott. Edith joined her adoptive mother and new step-father to live on San Miguel Island. Minnie died of tuberculosis in 1890. She was Waters second wife. He had a son, Charles Durant Waters (1866-1936), and daughter Claire (c. 1868-1936) by his first wife, and he never remarried after his second wife, Minnie’s death in 1890.

Throughout the years, Captain Waters had a number of employees who lived and worked on the island: Mr. and Mrs. Brown in 1891; William Devine, his mother Margaret and brother Francis from about 1895-1901; Charles and Sallie Curryer in 1896-1897; Mrs. Stevens in 1900; the Rawlins family in 1903-1904; Lewis and Lillian Ward in 1910; John and Ada Russell from 1904 on.


Sheep shearers who worked for Capt. Waters included:

  • Fred Pico (1894)
  • Jose Valdez (1894)
  • Ignacio Lugo (1894)
  • Guermon Masie (1894)
  • Joaquin Rodriguez (1894)
  • Edward Valencia (1894)


In 1912 Waters bought a house on Victoria Street in Santa Barbara. Waters stayed involved with the island as a business venture where he raised sheep for thirty years, until his death in 1917.

Waters built Rancho Ramboullet in 1908 from various lumber schooner wrecks. He had run sheep on San Miguel Island for almost 25 years when the government decided to use the island for lighthouse purposes. Captain Waters tried to have Senator Flint rescind the order, to no avail. However, Waters was able to enter into a five-year lease agreement with the government (1911-1916), and thus becoming the island’s first official lessee. From 1916 to 1920 he renewed his lease, naming Robert Brooks and J. R. Moore as his partners. They assumed the lease after Waters death.

Captain Waters died April 26, 1917 at age 78, leaving an estate valued at $48,743.42. [$899,814 in 2014 dollars.]

  • John A. Waters, 92, brother, Boston;
  • María C. Curtis, sister, deceased;
  • Charles Durant Waters, (1866-1936) 51, son, Santa Barbara (estranged/Livingston p. 69)
  • Claire C. Waters, 49, daughter (c. 1868-1936)
  • Edith Scott Burritt, 43, adopted daughter, Santa Monica (1875-1935)
  • Mrs. M. A. Cummings, 66, SB
  • Lucy A. Fechter, 52, Los Angeles

(Clara F. Storrs, 50, daughter of María Curtis (niece)


WHAT ABOUT OTHER 50%?

  • 1911. Reports of cases determined in the Supreme Court of the state of California. 161(581-588) December 1911. Elias Beckman, Apellant, v. William G. Waters and San Miguel Island Company, Respondents. [L. A. No. 2724. Department One. December 15, 1911].


[original in SCIF archives] [San Miguel Island]


[original in SCIF archives] [San Miguel Island]


» San Miguel Island Company » Ocean King [1888 Mr. Nichols of Siskiyou County p.20 diary.42,44] » Liberty [in 1890] » Capt Libbey p. 33 diary



In the News~

April 14, 1888 [SBDI]: “The sloop Ocean King arrived from San Miguel Island this morning with twenty-three bales of wool for Waters & Nichols.”


September 24, 1888 [SBDI]: “H. G. Harvey will leave for San Francisco Tuesday to bring his new steam yacht Lillian, built expressly for him, to Santa Barbara. He will bring as a cargo 35,000 feet of lumber to be used in constructing a hotel on San Miguel Island. The gentlemen interested are Judge W. I. Nichols and W. G. Waters, the owner of the island. The intention is to build a first class rustic hotel, with eating accommodations for about 100 guests. All the beef, mutton and fish used will be from the island, and parties going over will live as well, if not better, than on the mainland. In connection with the hotel scheme, the steam yacht Lillian will convey passengers across the channel and will run excursions during the winter. The boat will be a welcomed addition to Santa Barbara’s fleet, and she already has work enough to keep her busy for some time. The site for the hotel has been selected and work will be commenced as soon as the material arrives.”


October 11, 1888 [SBMP]: “Captain Waters, one of the owners of San Miguel Island, left for the island yesterday to remain two or three weeks. Lumber has already been bought for a hotel on the island, which will be erected as soon as possible. Arrangements will then be made to take over excursion parties on a small steamboat.”


May 10, 1890 [SBMP]: “Captain Waters of San Miguel Island was on the streets yesterday.”


July 16, 1890 [SBMP]: “Captain Waters is back from a trip to Santa Cruz Island.”


July 19, 1890 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters, Miss Waters, Mr. and Mrs. Moody of the Boston Globe and one or two others leave today on the Liberty for a visit to San Miguel Island.”


July 30, 1890 [SBMP]: “An unknown body was found on San Miguel Island. Captain W. G. Waters and L. D. Hardy, sent word yesterday to Coroner Ruiz, from San Miguel Island, of the finding of the dead body of a man on the beach of the island last Sunday. He was five feet nine inches in height, had a rubber boot, with short leg, on the right foot but none on the left; a portion of black cloth pants was on the right leg. Only a small portion of dark brown hair was left on the head, the scalp being almost entirely gone. There were no marks on the body and it had the appearance of having been in the water a long time. The head and face were so much disfigured that no beard was visible. Mrs. Hardy was with her husband when the discovery was made. The body was not buried then, and upon his return to the spot, it had washed out to sea.”


September 11, 1890 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters sailed for San Miguel Island yesterday on the Liberty.”


November 8, 1890 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters left on the schooner Liberty yesterday for a trip to Santa Catalina Island.”


November 23, 1890 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters returned from Santa Catalina Island on Friday evening in his yacht. When about a mile from the Santa Barbara wharf he passed through a school of porpoises which absolutely blackened the water for a distance of two miles long and a half mile wide.”


December 24, 1890 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters has bought out the interest of William Schilling in San Miguel Island, and is now the sole owner of that property.”


February 10, 1891 [SBMP]: “Some anxiety is felt on the water front for the safety of the sloop Liberty, which sailed for San Miguel Island on January 23rd and has not since been heard from. Captain W. G. Waters, the owner of the island, was on board and expected to return in a few days. It is feared that the Liberty has dragged her anchors and gone ashore during one of the recent heavy blows, and that the people on the island have no way of getting off. A boat will be sent over to investigate.”


February 11, 1891 [SBI]: “Captain Waters and daughter, Miss Edith, arrived from San Miguel Island last evening on the Liberty, all safe and well. They remained on the boat and landed this morning.”


March 18, 1891 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters and a party of sheep shearers leave today for San Miguel Island.”


March 19, 1891 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty sailed for San Miguel Island yesterday taking over Captain W. G. Waters, the owner of the island, and a band of sheep shearers.”


March 26, 1891 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty, Captain Water’s boat, returned Tuesday night from San Miguel Island, having landed Captain Waters and party there safely. She rode out the heavy gale of Wednesday of last week; anchored inside the kelp near Gaviota, and although it was very rough, the boat was not at any time in any real danger.”


May 28, 1891 [LAT]: “William G. Waters of Santa Barbara arrived at the Westminster today.”


June 14, 1891 [SBMP]: “Lost Overboard. The sloop Liberty arrived last evening from San Miguel Island, and brought word of an accident, which occurred on the outward trip. The sloop left Santa Barbara one June 3rd, with Captain and Miss Waters...”


July 14, 1891 [SBMP]: “Three men drowned. One saved after clinging to a rock 24 hours. The sloop Liberty, which returned Sunday afternoon from San Miguel Island with her flag at half-mast, brought the body of Pablo Valencia and the following account of a fatal accident that occurred there a week ago yesterday... Early the next morning, Captain Durietz, who had arrived in the sloop Liberty late that evening, Captain Waters, the owner of the island, and Pasquel returned to the west end. A big sea was on and the wind blowing from the northwest. Under the efficient command of Captain Durietz, they were enabled to come quite close to the rock; a line was thrown which Valencia caught and he was soon carried ashore, not much worse for his experience. The men were sealing...”


August 1, 1891 [SBMP]: “A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Antonio Pasquallitta Giovanetti, alias Joseph Pasqual. The complaint was sworn to by Capt. W. G. Waters, and charges Giovanetti with stealing an otter boat from San Miguel Island. Giovanetti is now at Santa Cruz Island.”


August 18, 1891 [SBMP]: “The Liberty will sail today for San Miguel Island with Captain Waters.”


September 2, 1891 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty left for San Miguel Island yesterday with Captain Waters.”


September 26, 1891 [SBMP]: “The case of the People vs. Antonio Pasqualito, better known as Joe Pasqual, was dismissed in the Superior Court yesterday, upon ground of insufficient evidence. He was charged with stealing an otter boat from San Miguel Island.”


October 18, 1891 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Waters, with a crew of sailors and sheep shearers, returned from a several weeks’ trip to San Miguel Island in the sloop Liberty yesterday morning. The captain brought over quite a cargo of wool and abalone shells.”


October 27, 1891 [LAT/SB]: “A. Cosgrove, a prominent merchant of San Diego, was in the city yesterday, the guest of Captain Waters.”


November 6, 1891 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Waters’ sloop Liberty left Wednesday for San Miguel Island with Mr. Brown and wife, who are to take charge of the island. The sloop will return in a day or so with a cargo of wool.”


November 12, 1891 [SBDI]: “Sloop Liberty was in port this morning from San Miguel Island with a load of wool belonging to Captain Waters.”


February 11, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “Captain W. G. Waters and Miss Edith Waters have left by steamer for Gaviota, from which place they sail in the sloop Liberty for San Miguel Island.”


February 28, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Waters, proprietor of the San Miguel Island, came from there on his sloop, Liberty. He reports the grass on the island growing rapidly.”


March 4, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “Depositions in the case of Joseph Lawrence against the Pacific Coast Steamship Company and W. G. Waters were taken yesterday and today before E. W. Gaty, Judge Fernald, Richards and Crow, attorneys.”


March 10, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Waters left yesterday for his island, San Miguel, with twenty-four shearers.”


April 28, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Liberty sailed for San Miguel Island Monday evening.”


June 22, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “A whistling buoy has broken loose somewhere off the coast and drifting down has located itself just west of San Miguel Island, contrary to government regulations. Julius, captain of the sloop Liberty, says it just whistles all the time, very much to the surprise of Captain Waters and the occupants of the island.”


July 1, 1892 [SBMP]: “The Liberty arrived from San Miguel Island Wednesday night, bringing Captain Waters, W. I. Cummings, special government inspector, and Clark Streator, the ornithologist. Mr. Streator found about twenty specimens of a rare species of the mouse family, and several other specimens. He will leave shortly for Santa Rosa Island.”


July 1, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Liberty came in from San Miguel Island yesterday evening bringing as passengers Captain Waters, Clark P. Streator and W. T. Cummings, special Chinese inspector.”


July 16, 1892 [SBMP]: “Mayor Gaty and Captain Waters returned from Los Angeles last evening.”


July 18, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Liberty, Captain Waters’ boat, came in from San Miguel Island late Saturday night, bringing Rogers Brothers seal outfit together with the rest of their catch. She had on board several barrels of oil, about two tons of abalone shells. They had been over on the island for about two months.”


July 23, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Waters and a party of young ladies leave here Monday for Gaviota where they will take passage on the sloop Liberty for San Miguel Island. The party will consist of the Misses Gertrude and Minnie Jordan, Miss Annie Cruces, Miss Bessie Gaskill, Miss Ada Gaty and Master Redding Bennett. Captain Waters’ daughter is now stopping on the island and the young ladies go to visit her.”


August 4, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Liberty is expected in this evening with Captain Waters and the party of young ladies he took to San Miguel Island a week or two ago.”


August 21, 1892 [SBMP]: “The sloop Liberty sailed for Gaviota yesterday. Captain Waters will leave on the steamer Los Angeles today for Gaviota where he will sail in the Liberty for San Miguel Island.”


August 22, 1892 [SBMP]: “The sloop Lehup sailed for San Miguel Island yesterday. Captain Waters left on the steamer Los Angeles and will meet the boat at Gaviota.”


September 1, 1892 [SBMP]: “Captain Waters’ sloop Liberty came over from the islands yesterday afternoon.”


November 5, 1892 [SBMP]: “Captain Waters returned yesterday from San Miguel Island after an absence of three months.”


November 5, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Waters of San Miguel Island came in on the sloop Liberty yesterday morning and will remain until after the election, which means one more good Republican vote.”


December 5, 1892 [LAT/SB]: “The sloop Liberty came in from San Miguel Island yesterday morning. Miss Edith, daughter of Captain Waters, was a passenger, she having been at the island all the past summer.”


May 12, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “A new case has been filed in the Superior Court. The Pacific Coast Steamship Company has sued Captain W. G. Waters for $1420, interests and cost, alleged to be due on an agreement between the parties to deliver a certain quantity of sheep and cattle from San Miguel Island to San Francisco.”


July 24, 1893 [SBDI]: “Captain Waters had a party out for a sail Saturday in his sloop Liberty. Sunday afternoon there were several parties out, and the Liberty, La Paloma, Genova, Pride of Santa Barbara and other boats were sailing in the channel at the same time.”


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


October 2, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Waters is over from San Miguel Island.”


October 18, 1893 [SBDI]: “The sloop Liberty was expected to sail today for San Miguel Island with Captain Waters.”


October 30, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “A letter from Captain W. G. Waters at San Miguel Island states that a large whale is stranded on the west coast of the island, and that he will cut the cetacean up and try out the oil.”


December 15, 1893 [SBDI]: The Liberty, Captain Waters, arrived from San Miguel Island after a very short trip, owing to the strong wind.”


December 20, 1893 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner San Miguel [?] took Captain Waters back to San Miguel Island Monday evening.”


January 15, 1894 [LAT/SB]: “Captain W. G. Waters arrived on the Corona Saturday evening.”


January 30, 1894 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Waters has returned from Los Angeles after a few days’ visit.”


July 19, 1894 [SBDI]: “Captain Waters says that feed of a good quality is plentiful on the island, despite the unseasonable year.”


July 27, 1894 [SBMP]: “Captain Waters is in Los Angeles.”


August 1, 1894 [SBDI]: “Captain W. G. Waters is in this city for a few days, having come up from Los Angeles.”


January 9, 1895 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters sailed for San Miguel Island yesterday in his sloop Liberty.”


March 16, 1895 [SBNP]: “Strange upheaval. Startling seismic disturbance on San Miguel Island... Huge rocks weighing many tons covered the surface of the newly exposed portion, which was also thickly strewn with crabs and fish…The following extract from a letter written by Captain Waters to E. W. Gaty gives an interesting account of the strange appearance: ‘There has been quite a commotion over here. The land that formed those high bluffs back of the boathouse, has sunk more than sixty feet… My boats [Captain Waters] those of Captain Ellis are all right…”


March 30, 1895 the Liberty was pounded to pieces on the southeast shore of Cuyler's Harbor following a freak landslide, which was reported to have generated an enormous harbor wave. Captain Dally had sailed her to Cuyler's Harbor when she sank. William Waters wrote to the Director of the State Weather Service in Sacramento: ‘There has been quite a commotion on San Miguel Island. The land which formed a high bluff on the west side of the harbor (Cuyler's Harbor) has sunk more than sixty feet and forced itself under the beach, not only raising it, but stones which had lain at the water’s edge for years are now fifteen feet above it... So sudden was the change that fish and crabs were left high and dry and thirty feet above the harbor.’”


April 2, 1895 [SFCall]: “Santa Barbara, April 1. Wreck at Cuyler’s Harbor. The sloop Liberty went ashore on the south beach of Cuyler’s Harbor last night. A high gale was blowing and there was a heavy sea in the harbor, causing her to foul and drag her anchor. No lives were lost, but the sloop is a total wreck. The Liberty was formerly registered at Wilmington and ran in and out of San Pedro harbor. Five years ago she became the property of Captain W. G. Waters, the owner of San Miguel Island, and has since been used as a freight boat, plying back and forth between the island and the mainland. She was a staunch little craft, a splendid sea boat, but framed for strength and safety rather than speed.”


April 3, 1895 [LAT/SB]: “Anent San Miguel Island talk, it may be said that ‘He laughs best who laughs last.’ The following further news in connection with it has been learned: The sloop Liberty, owned by Captain Waters, while anchored at San Miguel Island, was dashed to pieces on the rocks. Nobody was on board at the time, as the crew slept on shore that night. The cause of the wreck is not easily accounted for, except that one anchor was not sufficient to keep her where the captain had placed her.”


April 9, 1895 [LAT/SB]: “Details of the submarine disturbances in the Channel… The Times correspondent has just returned from San Miguel Island after nearly a week’s absence, the time being devoted to an investigation of the peculiar wreck of the sloop Liberty… Fragments of the vessel strewed the beach for half a mile… the bow had been stove in, as if the boat had received a sharp blow from beneath…”


May 21, 1895 [SFCall]: “Colonel W. G. Waters, formerly foreman of the Call pressrooms and at present managing owner of San Miguel island, is in the city.”


June 7, 1895 [SBDI]: “Superior Court. Honorable W. B. Cope, Judge. In the case of Edith Alice Walker vs. William G. Waters et al; the motion of plaintiff for order of the court requiring the defendant to pay a certain sum to plaintiff now renders its decision and orders that said motion be denied. The plaintiff is given 30 days to file bill of exception.”


June 8, 1895 [SFCall]: “Santa Barbara, June 7. Edith Walker loses a point in the suit against her father. The case of Edith Alice Walker vs. William G. Waters et al. Came up in the Superior Court today on a motion for an order of the court to compel the payment of a certain sum. The plaintiff’s motion was denied. This is the first decision in the sensational suit brought by Captain Waters’ adopted daughter to enforce the payment of a certain sum conditionally bequeathed to her by the late Mrs. Waters.”


December 22, 1895 [SBMP]: “Wants San Miguel… ‘Tis said John Bull has his eye on the island. Claims that it was not included in the treaty made when this state was ceded after the Mexican War… The technicality consists in a defect or omission in the treaty made just after the close of the Mexican War… This is the ground upon which our neighbor John Bull thinks he has a chance to increase his territorial wealth… It is true that Captain Waters claims the island by right of location and continuous residence…”


July 6, 1895 [LAT]: “San Francisco. Edith Waters Walker, 20 years old, the adopted daughter of a millionaire, a successful actress, once a prisoner on San Miguel Island and finally the wife of the impoverished son of a man who was John W. Mackay’s partner in the bonanza days, has commenced two suits that will disclose a strange story of vicissitude. She is suing her husband for a divorce, and her stepfather, Captain Waters of Santa Barbara, for $5000, which she alleges was left by her mother for her use. Mrs. Walker was left an orphan at an early age, and was adopted by Mrs. Scott, a wealthy woman of this city. Mrs. Scott married Captain Waters, who owned San Miguel Island, one of the Santa Barbara chain. The island was used as a cattle ranch, and Captain Waters, with his wife and Edith, lived there. Mrs. Waters died, leaving property valued at $500,000 and $5,000 in cash to her husband, the money to be used at his discretion for Edith’s education. After her mother’s death, the girl lived on the island, being the only woman there with the exception of an Indian squaw. There she says she herded cattle until she grew weary of life on the island, which had become a prison to her. One day she persuaded the captain [Robert Ord] of a sealing schooner that called at the island to take her away, and she sailed for San Diego. She came to San Francisco and went on the stage, where she made a success. While here she met John MacKay Walker, son of John B. Walker, who several years ago was a Bonanza millionaire. She married young Walker, who earned money as a car conductor while she acted. Finally she went to South America with a dramatic company, where they were burned out and lost all their dramatic effects. She returned to San Francisco, and now wishes to cultivate her voice. She will give up the stage and devote herself to the care of her three-year-old baby. She has sued her husband, who is in Los Angeles, for a divorce, and she has brought suit for the $5000, which she says her mother left her.”


July 6, 1895 [LAH]: “Levanted in a rowboat. How a young girl escaped from San Miguel Island. Would go on the stage. Married to the son of a former wealthy man. Mrs. Edith Waters Walker is her name and she brings suit for divorce — What her husband says. Information has been received in this city to the effect that Mrs. Edith Waters Walker had commenced suit for divorce against her husband, John MacKay Walker, who is residing in Los Angeles. Additional interest was lent to the case from the fact that the husband is a son of Joshua M. Walker, a former partner of John W. Mackay, the bonanza king. Mr. walker is connected with a gas saving apparatus company and resides on South Spring Street, where he was seen last evening regarding the action taken by his wife. He is 22 years of age, stands over 6 feet in height, has dark hair, blue eyes and very pleasing manners. “I am not in the least surprised at my wife bringing this suit,“ he said, after reading the dispatch from San Francisco. “It is what I have expected. I have not as yet received notification of the action, so of course am unacquainted with any of the charges on which she bases her complaint. If the grounds are at all reasonable I shall make no defense, but will allow her to get the decree. Should the complaint contain anything that is wrong I will of course contest it. In fact, it would have been but a matter of short time before I would have brought suit for divorce against her and the reason I have delayed thus far is because I knew it would have been postponed. Her lawyer, Roger Johnson of San Francisco, is engaged on her other suit for $5000 against her step-father, Captain Waters of Santa Barbara, and a continuance until that one is disposed of would have been asked had I brought suit.“ “What are the grounds on which you proposed to base your action?" was asked. “Well, I cannot speak of their nature at present. While there were several different ones it was a succession of events. I did not know but my wife's complaint is based on incompatibility of temper,“ he added, “for I know that we began to disagree shortly after the honeymoon. I married my wife in San Francisco last May. We had known each other about six weeks. Two weeks before our marriage she had made her debut at the Orpheum, where she sang. As she wanted to further cultivate her voice and follow the stage as a professional and also to help out with expenses she continued on the boards after the marriage ceremony. I was employed in the power house of the San Francisco and San Mateo motor railway. Sometime after her engagement at the Orpheum she went to Portland and sang in the Anheuser saloon. In October I left San Francisco and came to Los Angeles. She came down during the same month and appeared here with the Benson Dramatic Company, which played at the Grand Opera House. Her stage name was Ynez Dean. After this she went on the road with another company organized by Dr. Stoessel, who got into trouble with Benson. They toured about Southern Califoria, visiting all of the principal stands, and finally went to Ensenada, Lower California, where the company broke up. She returned to Los Angeles and lived with me from the first part of last December until February. Yes, it was during this time that we agreed to disagree. She went to San Francisco two months ago. Her child is about 4 month old, and I am quite willing that she should have it, if such is her desire. During all of her stage career she has never risen above mediocrity and has appeared only with indifferent companies. It is unture that her stepfather is very wealthy. He is well-to-do, but is not worth $500,000 as claimed. He owns San Miguel Island. She was early left an orphan and adopted by Mrs. Scott, who afterwards married Captain Waters. My wife lived on the island at various times during a number of years. She claimed to me that she was kept a prisoner there, but I afterwards ascertained this was wrong. She had all the comforts of a home and frequently visited the mainland. As to whether or not she entertained company at her island home, I cannot say. The statement that she used to herd cattle is ridiculous, as is the one that she was the only woman, besides a squaw on the island. A housekeeper was there, and my wife was given all of the comfort for which any one could reasonably ask. She finally got tired of life there and determined to get away. The opportunity presented itself one day when she persuaded a man in a row boat to take her over to Santa Barbara. In reality she ran away from the island and went to San Francisco, as she wanted to go on the stage. It was while she was living in the north that we were married. The suit for $5000 against Captain Waters is for money claimed to have been entrusted to him for her by her mother. It was brought last July.“


July 7, 1895 [SBMP]: “Information has been received in this city to the effect that Mrs. Edith Waters Walker has commenced suit for a divorce against her husband, John M. Walker who is residing in Los Angeles… Her lawyer, Roger Johnson of San Francisco, is engaged on her other suit for $5000 against her step-father, Captain Waters…”


May 13, 1896 [SBDN]: “U.S. Survey boat Gedney, after the trial trip of the Oregon, will go to San Miguel Island and re-survey Cuyler's Harbor. Captain Waters and Sid Law went over on the vessel last Monday.”


May 21, 1896 [SBDN]: “The Coast Survey vessels Gedney and McArthur returned this morning from San Miguel Island where they had gone to survey Cuyler’s Harbor. Captain Waters and Sam Gaty returned on the Gedney.”


May 22, 1896 [LAT/SB]: “The Gedney has returned from her surveying trip to San Miguel Island and is anchored near Stearn’s Wharf… The Gedney, Captain Osborne, has just completed the re-survey of San Miguel Island and found the shore line considerably shortened. The island contains about 13,000 acres of choice grazing land and Captain Waters, owner of the island, said this morning there is an abundance of the best feed and all the stock is fat. There is an unlimited supply of the purest of water there, which it is thought, comes from the high mountain ranges of the mainland. It is said the larger islands are suffering somewhat from drought.”


June 10, 1896 [SBDI]: “The schooner Restless arrived this noon with 100 lambs as a cargo from San Miguel Island, and Captain Waters, Mr. T. E. Powell and Mr. Samuel Gaty as passengers.”


June 10, 1896 [SBDN]: “The Restless returned from San Miguel Island this morning with Captain Waters and Sam Gaty.”


June 11, 1896 [LAT/SB]: “Captain waters and his party returned this morning from San Miguel Island where they have been shearing sheep. They report rich feed on the island.”


July 1, 1896 [SBDN]: “Schooner Restless started for San Miguel Island this morning. At Gaviota she will take on board Captain Waters and proceed to her destination where she will take on board a load of sheep returning to this city in six or seven days.”


July 8, 1896 [SFCall]: “Santa Barbara, July 7. United States Marshal Covarrubias of Los Angeles has arrived in Santa Barbara on a very important and decidedly dramatic mission. The island of San Miguel, which lies off the coast west of Point Conception, is the most unique bit of territory in the civilized world, for it is absolutely without an ownership save the squatter sovereignty. It is claimed that it was through some error left out of the cession of lands in the Mexican treaty, and oddly enough the United States has never laid formal claim to it. Although it has been occupied and utilized for an agricultural and grazing purposes for more than seventy years, it has never been platted or surveyed, never paid taxes, never been included in any electoral district. It is a piece of territory literally without a flag or government, although it has long been owned and occupied by a loyal citizen of the United States and veteran of the late civil conflict, Captain William G. Waters. This extraordinary condition of affairs has long been whispered about, but it is not generally known that the State of California, awakening to her anomalous position in the matter, last February attempted to send a surveying party to the island. This party on arriving at Santa Barbara met with such determined resistance on the part of the claimants to the island territory that they withdrew from the scene without completing their mission. The Surveyor-General of California thereupon communicated with the Federal authorities in California and received instructions to go ahead with his survey. A party of eight surveyors, headed by Mr. Glover, is now here and the United States Marshal Covarrubias of Los Angeles has come up with an armed force of thirteen men is ready to accompany them to the island to take forcible and adverse possession of it…”


July 8, 1896 [SBDN]: “An expedition left this port at 10 o’clock last evening, which may or may not have an interesting story to tell of its return. It went out on the schooner Restless and was in command of U.S. Marshal N. A. Covarrubias. There was a party of surveyors on board and a number of men armed with Winchester rifles. A party of twenty-two in all. The party started for San Miguel Island, and there is a little story to tell in order to make the case perfectly understood. The island is the property of the U.S., and was reserved as a sight for a lighthouse. For a number of years it has been nominally in the possession of private individuals, Captain Waters now claiming ownership. He has quite a flock of sheep on the island and in its possession has been reported to have a nice little property. We enter into no discussion as to ownership of the land. It is not within the scope of this article. Captain Waters claims the island as his. The Government claims it as its own. In such contests the Government being strongest usually wins. Some time ago for reasons all its own, the Government decided to make a careful survey of the whole island. A party of surveyors was gathered, brought to Santa Barbara, and preparations made to go to the island and begin the work. Captain Waters asserted that the island was his and that no surveyors should land, and if they did land, he would shoot every mother’s son of the outfit. This threat delivered in the captain’s most energetic manner cast a heavy chill over the whole party, for Captain Waters is rather celebrated for meaning what he says, and though he was really throwing down the gauntlet to the whole nation, casting defiance in the face of the whole Government, Cleveland and his whole gang, Waters went the deck and never budged a peg. Not so the surveyors, they did budge, and the expedition was given up for the time being. Lately the Government has decided that it will probably escape a war with Spain, that the Venezuela borders will be definitely settled in a century or two, and that it is now free to carry on a little discussion with Captain Waters. Orders were given to reorganize the surveying party, and Marshal Covarrubias was directed to take what force was necessary, proceed to the island of San Miguel, land the surveyors and protect them by armed men. Hence the loading of the schooner Restless with grub, and her sailing away in the gloom of night as was stated in the beginning of this article. We shall await the return of the expedition with interest, for the Marshal is as determined a man as Captain Waters and will not stand any nonsense at all.”


July 8, 1896 [SBMP]: “Forcible possession to be taken of San Miguel Island. The United States Marshal Covarrubias and twelve deputies left on the schooner Restless last night to take possession of San Miguel Island for survey by the United States government. On February 25, 1896, James R. Glover, United States Deputy surveyor, in accordance with instructions contained in a letter from the honorable commission of the General Land Office, dated April 23, 1895, to complete the survey under Contract No. 14, dated July 22, 1878, started to survey the island, but found it impracticable at that time on account of fog. But on February 4, 1896, securing the necessary field notes, plats and diagrams and instructions, sent a party here who made arrangements with a schooner to take them to and from San Miguel Island, which was the first in line of those Surveyor Glover intended to survey. The party was all ready to proceed with the survey, when they were informed by Captain Waters and Mr. Gaty, who was then living, that forcible resistance would be made to the completion of the survey. Messrs. Gaty and Waters claimed at that time that San Miguel was not the property of the United States and that the land department had no authority to survey it, claiming that it was not ceded by Mexico under the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo… That San Miguel Island is a portion of the territory of the state of California is clearly shown in Departmental decision of February 16, 1895, in the case of the state of California and the authorities cited therein—20 L. D., 103. It is thus properly subject to survey…”


July 8, 1896 [LAT]: “Invading an island. San Miguel’s inhabitants objected to a government survey… United States Marshal Nick Covarrubias and twelve deputies will leave here this morning on order of the United States government, to forcibly take possession of San Miguel Island, to protect the government survey which the occupants will not allow…”


July 10, 1896 [LAT/SB]: “People were perfectly willing that Nick Covarrubias should come here and go with the United States surveyor to survey San Miguel Island. They were also perfectly willing that Nick should employ as many citizens as he saw fit, at $5 a day, to go with him, but all this talk about ‘capturing San Miguel Island’ is, as Attorney McNulta says, ‘rot.’”


July 12, 1896 [LAT/SB]: “The United States flag was raised for the first time over San Miguel Island this morning by United States Marshal Covarrubias, who went there pursuant to instructions from President Cleveland. The present occupant of the island, Captain W. G. Waters, had hitherto prevented all efforts to survey it as part of the United States territory, claiming that the island, although of the Santa Barbara group, does not belong to the United States…”


July 12, 1896 [SFCall]: “Santa Barbara, July 11. The war sloop Restless, which sailed for San Miguel Island several days ago, carrying a party of government surveyors and United States Marshal Covarrubias with a band of armed men, to take possession of the island in the name of the United States Government, returned tonight. It reports that Captain Waters, the undisputed ‘King’ of the island for many years, submitted without a struggle.”


July 13, 1896 [SBDN]: “Schooner Restless returned from her trip to San Miguel Island at 6 o’clock Saturday evening. She had a peaceful voyage, but the trip was not uneventful. On her way out she met with calms which retarded her journey, so it was late Thursday before she got off from Gaviota. While waiting for the winds off that spot, it decided to land and have a barbecue... Arriving at the island, the Marshal went ashore and met Captain Waters on the beach. After greeting and shaking hands the following conversation took place: ‘Captain Waters what is the best way to get these surveyors ashore and at work?’ ‘This is private property and we cannot allow and will not allow them on shore.’ ‘Don’t get excited. I’ve got orders signed by President Cleveland telling me to put them ashore and protect them. I’ve got the deputies here in sufficient force and I shall have to do it.’ ‘Let’s see your orders.’ They were read and the captain said he was not going to butt against the whole country besides resisting the U.S. Marshal, so he would make no opposition. Only, he didn’t want them to kill his sheep. He would give them all the mutton they wanted, but he wanted to select it. It was so agreed, and the captain sent down a team and hauled the baggage up to the shed where the men were to encamp. That ended the business and the whole expedition was a success.”


July 13, 1896 [SBDN]: “San Miguel has fallen and Captain Waters is no longer the owner of a foreign principality. Saturday night U.S. Marshal Covarrubias and his 15 deputies arrived on the Restless. They reported that after examining the papers in the case, Captain Waters had offered no objection to the survey and that U.S. Surveyor Stone had been left in his charge with seven assistants. The addition of the new territory to the United States was celebrated by raising the stars and stripes and the firing of a salute of 46 guns, one in honor of the new accession of territory. The deputies and surveyors crowded the little schooner uncomfortable and the wind being light, landing was made at Gaviota, where the party remained until Friday when they again set sail for Cuyler’s Harbor.”


July 14, 1896 [LAT]: “San Miguel. Marshal Covarrubias returns from a successful journey… A week ago today Marshal Covarrubias went to Santa Barbara. There he hired the sloop Restless, provisioned the boat for a cruise, engaged a lot of deputies at $5 a day and dispatched the vessel… to San Miguel Island… The Restless started on her voyage… with 28 men, packed on board as tight as sardines. They reached the island at about sunset. When Captain Waters saw what a display of force the government had made, he at once declared he should offer no resistance…”


September 12, 1896 [LAT]: “Captain Waters says that the newly acquired territory of San Miguel will go for McKinley to the man; in fact, a Bryanite would receive the same treatment that other coyotes so when they get after his sheep.”


October 8, 1896 [LAT]: “Captain W. G. Waters, owner of San Miguel Island, is at the Hollenbeck.”


February 5, 1897 [LAT]: “Articles of incorporation were filed yesterday for the San Miguel Island Company. The San Miguel Island Company is formed for the purpose of engaging in farming and raising livestock on San Miguel Island, an island in the Pacific Ocean about twenty-five miles from the coast, south of Santa Barbara county. The company is also organized to carry on business on the island, sell real estate thereon, construct one or more vessels for the transportation of persons and property to and from the island, and operate the same. The directors of the company are William G. Waters of San Miguel Island and Ferdinand K. Rule, William E. Roberts, Frederick A. Hines and Henry Y. Stanley of this city. The capital stock of the company is stated at $50,000 divided into 5000 shares at $10 each. The amount of capital stock actually subscribed is $500.”


February 5, 1897 [SFCall]: “The San Miguel Island Company has filed articles of incorporation. The directors are: William G. Waters of San Miguel Island; F. K. Rule, William E. Roberts, F. A. Hines and Henry Y. Stanley of Los Angeles; capital stock $50,000.”


March 8, 1897 [SBDN]: “On the 20th of November last, William G. Waters transferred to Jeremiah F. Conroy, an attorney in Los Angeles, an undivided third interest in San Miguel Island, its improvements and stock thereon, for the sum of $2500. A few days since, William G. Waters and J. F. Conroy sold their interests in San Miguel Island Company for the sum of $49,500. Both of these instruments were executed at Los Angeles and filed in the Recorders office of this county early this morning.”


March 9, 1897 [LAT/SB]: “San Miguel Island is to be turned into a hog ranch. The 14,000 acres contained in the island has heretofore been devoted to sheep, but it will be divided between them now. Such is the intention of the new company, of which W. G. Waters is manager. Mr. Waters is now in Santa Barbara on his way to the island, and he will seed a large part of the ranch to grain, upon which the hogs will be pastured. Fred K. Rule of the Terminal Railway is president of the island company; the vice president is Mr. Roberts of the Cudahy Company. Deeds transferring the interests of W. G. Waters and J. F. Conroy to the San Miguel Island Company were filed today.”


June 29, 1897 [SBMP]: “Captain Waters returned from his San Miguel Island home yesterday, after an absence from this city of over two months. He reports lots of good healthy wind during the past spring, and plenty of feed for man and beast. His foreman, Mr. Charles Curryer, who has been on the island for more than a year, expects to pay the mainland a visit the next trip the boat makes. He will be accompanied by his wife.”


July 21, 1897 [SBMP]: “United States Examiner of Surveys, H. L. Collier, and party of surveyors arrived from San Francisco on the noon train yesterday and are guests of the Mascarel. Mr. Collier and party are bound for San Miguel Island. They will leave on Friday having chartered the Lizzie Belle W., to convey them hither. Deputy Port Collector, C. M. Bell, will accompany the survey party. To ascertain just what bearing the visit of the United States surveying party had upon the present controversy between Captain Waters and the United States government over the possession of San Miguel Island, a Press representative called upon Mr. Collier. He was received courteously by the representative of the United States land office who readily gave such information as lay in his power: ‘I have nothing whatever to do with the controversy between Captain Waters and the United States government. That is entirely a question to be decided by the courts. The Interior Department has always regarded San Miguel Island as belonging to the United States and will not relinquish the claims until compelled to do so by the highest judicial tribunal. My mission in California is simply the examination of the Benson survey which covered the period from 1878 to 1896...”


July 21, 1897 [SBDI]: “Examiner H. L. Collier of the surveying branch of the Department of the Interior is in Santa Barbara accompanied by several deputies, and en route to San Miguel Island where he will verify the old Benson survey of the island made in 1878. The Lizzie Belle W will carry the party to San Miguel. The visit may have some bearing on the disputed ownership of the property, as he states that the government claims the island, believing that Captain Waters has no title that will be upheld in the courts.”


August 7, 1897 [SN]: “Examiner H. L. Collier of the surveying branch of the Department of the Interior is in Santa Barbara accompanied by several deputies, and en route to San Miguel Island where he will verify the old Benson survey of the isle made in 1878. The Lizzie Belle W will carry the party to San Miguel. The visit may have some bearing on the disputed ownership of the property, as he states that the government claims the island, believing that Captain Waters has no title that will be upheld in the courts.”


April 10, 1898 [LAT]: “After a meeting of the San Miguel Island Company yesterday the following officers were elected: President Captain William G. Waters; vice-president F. A. Hines; secretary Henry Y. Stanley; treasurer G. S. Edwards; superintendent and manager Captain Waters.”


April 20, 1898 [LAT/SB]: “Captain W. G. Waters of San Miguel Island reports feed enough there to carry his stock possibly through the summer until the fall rains.”


May 26, 1898 [SBMP]: “Captain Waters stated yesterday afternoon to a Press reporter that his stock were doing well, and he had no reason to complain. He also said that the weather favoring with good rains, he would this coming winter plant San Miguel Island heavily to grain and hog stock it to the limits of wisdom.”


June 14, 1898 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters has returned from Los Angeles, where the story about his seizure of the Spanish island of San Miguel was first published by the Express. To a press reporter yesterday, he told how the tale became public. It was at dinner at the Jonathan Club, and among the members present was C. D. Willard, managing editor of the Express. The party had been talking of the war, and Captain Waters was asked concerning the safety of San Miguel, the island outpost in the Santa Barbara Channel. He then told them of the peculiar circumstances surrounding its ‘capture’ from the Spanish. When Spain ceded, with other territory, the Santa Barbara Islands to Mexico, as the new Republic had won her independence, all of the islands were named in the official documents, with the exception of San Miguel. This was, technically, then still Spanish territory; but it had been recognized as belonging to Mexico when the United States absorbed this western country after the Mexican War. Captain Waters discovered this error, but for ten years past the Stars and Stripes have been flying above the island, and there is no question as to its being within Uncle Sam’s domains. Captain Waters has been the recipient of all sorts of jokes since the history of the conquest of San Miguel has been so thoroughly disseminated over the country. Offers of service to defend the island are pouring in upon him, and his friends call him ‘William the First.’”


July 24, 1898 [LAT/SB]: “San Miguel Island. On account of the dry season, it has been necessary to either ship or sell the stock on most of the large ranches of Southern California and on the islands, in order that feed might be obtained for them. One striking exception to this is the island of San Miguel, from which not a solitary head has been taken. The Santa Barbara Independent says: ‘…Captain Waters is very thankful that he has not been compelled to take advantage of the very low prices and the high transportation rates in order to save his stock’…It is told by some of the inhabitants of this city that away back in the forties there was not a grain of sand visible on the whole island, but that a hard year had come on and there were too many sheep for the amount of feed…”


August 29, 1898 [LAT/SB]: “Captain W. G. Waters of San Miguel Island is in town and reports plenty of feed and his stock in good condition.”


December 13, 1898 [SBMP]: “The yacht Helene, built a few years ago by J. D. Axtell and owned by Edwards & Company, is a total wreck in Forney's Cove on Santa Cruz Island... Captain Waters, who went to San Miguel on the sloop, remained on the island and was not with the Helene when she went ashore.”


January 19, 1899 [SBDI]: “Captain Waters returned last night from the islands and reports the prospects for the coming season exceptionally good.”


January 20, 1899 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Waters, the holder of and owner of property and stock on San Miguel Island, came over in his sloop Pearl yesterday, bringing a ton of very valuable shells, some abalones and a quantity of butter for the market. Captain Waters has been making extensive improvements on the island, not the least of which has been the building of a beautiful twelve-foot wagon road nearly across the island. A dozen Chinamen have been employees at this work. Captain Waters reports sheep and cattle in fine condition on the island and feed very plentiful. He will go immediately to Los Angeles where he has a suit pending.”


January 26, 1899 [LAT]: “San Miguel Island lands in controversy again. ‘Cap’ Waters and attorney Conroy carry a dispute into the courts. Dorothy Creede’s mother appears in background. There is at present being contested before Judge Trask a somewhat dry-as-dust case, wherein Attorney Jeremiah F. Conroy is seeking to recover from William Waters the sum of $6606. The entire amount is, in an indirect way, a claim for professional services, and would present little interest were it not for the fact that Edith Alice Walker Basford, the mother of Dorothy Creede, cuts some small figure in the case: that the defendant is the Captain Waters who was monarch of San Miguel Island… hostilities have been on the point of breaking out more than once… After Edith Alice Walker had been adopted by Captain and Mrs. Waters, they both became exceedingly fond of her, and when Mrs. Waters died, she left $5000 in trust to her adopted child…”


February 4, 1899 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Waters returned on last evening’s train from Los Angeles, where he has been attending a suit in which he is the defendant, and which involves the ownership of San Miguel Island. Mr. Waters returns to Los Angeles next week when the court will hear the argument in the case.”


February 23, 1899 [SBMP]: “The Chinese junk Acme, five and a half days out from San Diego, arrived in port late Tuesday evening. The Acme is in command of Captain Steven and is a very large three-masted junk. She is now in the employ of Captain Waters of San Miguel Island and will go over immediately to get a ship load of sheep for the market. It is understood that she will remain here permanently in the employ of Captain Waters.”


March 14, 1899 [LAT/SB]: “Captain W. G. Waters came over Sunday night from his San Miguel Island ranch, reporting that the wind has been blowing a northwest gale for several days. Feed keeps up well on the island, as the rainfall there has been over ten inches, and an occasional fog will give from .06 to .08 of an inch of moisture, which is a great aid to grass.”


March 17, 1899 [LAT]: “Captain Waters’ Suit. Attorney Conroy gets judgment for a small amount. A decision was handed down yesterday by Judge Trask in the suit of Jeremiah F. Conroy against William G. Waters, wherein judgment was ordered in favor of the plaintiff. Attorney Conroy sought judgment on three causes of action. First, upon a note executed to him by Captain Waters, dated March 2, 1897, in the sum of $750, with interest. Second, for professional services in which the fees aggregated $500, and third, for the alleged conversion by the defendant of sheep and wool on San Miguel Island, alleged to have been the property of the plaintiff and valued at $5000. The total amount for which judgment was asked was $6606…”


March 17, 1899 [LAT]: “Judge Trask has handed down a decision in the case of Attorney Conroy against Captain Waters of San Miguel Island fame, in which judgment is given for the plaintiff, but not for the full amount of his claim. The attorney set up a claim for over $6000, and the court has granted him slightly less than $800, the application for the defendant in his cross-complaint being denied.”


August 29, 1899 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Waters, the owner of San Miguel Island, will have to erect several new sheep corrals upon the island. By a curious movement of the sand the old corrals are all buried. Four years ago these corrals were perfectly clear, but the sand, carried fully two miles by the constant winds that blew on the channel, have completely covered them. During the past summer the movement of sand has been particularly rapid and in the canyons it has banked up fully fifty feet deep. Heavily continued rains will clear the canyons. It is possible other winds may move the sands from the corrals to some other place, but the process will be a long one.”


September 23, 1899 [SBDI]: “Captain Waters will return to San Miguel Island Monday morning.”


September 27, 1899 [SBDI]: “The island schooner Santa Rosa was taking on a cargo of lumber for Captain Waters at San Miguel Island, and the gasoline launch Santa Cruz was loading with freight for Santa Cruz Island.”


January 24, 1900 [SBDI]: “Captain Waters is expected home in a few days from the islands.”


February 26, 1900 [SBDI]: “Captain Waters has returned from the islands where he has been for the past few months looking after his interests there.”


February 27, 1900 [SBMP]: “Captain William G. Waters arrived Sunday from his San Miguel Island ranch, where he has been continuously since last September. Captain Waters reports that there is still plenty of green feed on the island, though it is drying rapidly and needs rain.”


March 31, 1900 [SBMP]: “Captain Waters left in the Dawn last night with a party of sheep shearers for San Miguel Island. He will return as soon as the shearing is completed, which will require about two weeks.”


March 31, 1900 [SBDI]:


May 11, 1900 [SBDI]: “Captain Waters returned last night on the schooner Dawn from a business trip to Santa Cruz Island.”


May 12, 1900 [SBMP]: “Captain William G. Waters is in the city enjoying civilization and reading up on the news, after several weeks spent on his lonely island ranch, San Miguel.”


June 7, 1900 [SBMP]: “The San Miguel Island Company yesterday elected the following directors: J. F. Conroy, W. A. Hawley, T. S. Hawley, J. M. McAvoy, W. G. Waters. Captain Waters is continued as president and manager. J. M. McAvoy is the vice president, T. S. Hawley secretary, and George Edwards treasurer.”


June 12, 1900 [SBDI]: “Captain Waters left this afternoon for a few days business trip to San Miguel Island.”


November 29, 1900 [SBMP]: “The schooner Restless left yesterday morning for San Miguel Island with Captain W. G. Waters.”


December 19, 1900 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner Restless, Captain Burtis, just in from across the channel, reports extremely heavy nor’west seas on the other side. Captain Waters and men were left on San Miguel Island several weeks ago, the Restless intending to revisit them before the winter seas began to roll, but the undertaking would be hazardous now.”


March 9, 1901 [SBMP]: “Mammoth mushrooms. A photograph of mushrooms grown on San Miguel Island and now posted in the Press office window shows that San Miguel holds the medal. One of them measures 9-1/2 inches across, and the owner of the photograph asserts that he could have gathered bushels of them six inches in diameter. The largest one weighed three pounds and was a good as it was large.”


June 17, 1901 [SBDI]: “The schooner Restless returned from Santa Rosa Island yesterday. She sails for San Miguel Island tomorrow with Captain Waters.”


June 22, 1901 [SBDI]: “Judge Day rendered a decision today in the action of Mary Gaty against W. G. Waters. Mrs. Gaty sued for a half-interest in San Miguel Island. The court decided that she was not entitled to any interest, as the conveyances made were to secure moneys advanced and not absolute conveyances.”


July 5, 1901 [SBDI]: “Captain Waters returned yesterday on the Olita from San Miguel Island.”


August 20, 1901 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters returned yesterday from an extended northern trip. He visited San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Victoria, B. C. and Index, Washington at which latter place he spent three days with E. F. Rogers, formerly of this city.”


September 23, 1901 [LAT/SB]: “Redding Bennett, who was formerly a resident of Santa Barbara, but now lives in Los Angeles, is the guest of Captain Waters, on San Miguel Island.”


December 10, 1901 [LAT/SB]: “Captain W. G. Waters arrived from San Miguel Island Sunday.”


December 15, 1901 [LAT/SB]: “Captain W. G. Waters of San Miguel Island is exhibiting Kodak pictures of mushrooms which were found on the island, ranging from eight to ten inches in diameter. The captain has picked several barrels of them.”


January 21, 1902 [LAT/SB]: “Captain Waters returned on Saturday evening from San Miguel Island, and reports pasturage there in excellent condition, notwithstanding the long dry spell.”


February 7, 1903 [SBMP]: “Jeremiah F. Conroy, formerly of this city, lost his alleged sensational case against the San Miguel Island Company and its directors yesterday before Judge Ewing. Some months ago Conroy brought an action against the company, W. G. Waters, its president and manager, and its directors, claiming as a stockholder that over $10,000 of the company’s money had been diverted from its treasury, and asking for a receiver for the company’s property, which includes San Miguel Island. The defendants appeared voluntarily and demurred to the complaint. Whereupon Conroy forced matters by asking that the books and papers of the company be brought into court and that a receiver be immediately appointed for the corporation. The matter came up yesterday afternoon before Judge Ewing of Ventura, sitting for Judge Taggart. Mr. Conroy, who is an attorney representing himself and the company and its directors were represented by attorneys W. S. Day, Henley Booth and S. E. Crow. The case was argued at length by Mr. Booth for the defendants. Mr. Conroy replied and the defendants submitted the matter without further argument. Judge Ewing sustained the defendants’ demurrers and denied Conroy’s application for a receiver, saying that the complaint was insufficient and uncertain, and that he did not think the appointment of a receiveer was justified. Mr. Conroy said that he would appeal the case to the supreme court. The case concerns San Miguel Island and the property of the company which owns the island, and is the outgrowth of trouble among the stockholders which has lasted since 1897.”


March 14, 1903 [SBI]: “The schooner Edith, which was recently chartered by Captain Waters to temporarily serve the San Miguel Island Company between the island and this city, is due to arrive with a cargo of island products. The schooner was expected to reach port yesterday afternoon, but she was probably detained at the island for some reason. As the channel has been comparatively smooth during the past few days, no alarm is felt because of her failure to put in an appearance.”


June 13, 1902 [LAT]: “At a meeting of the San Miguel Island Company last night the following directors were elected: Captain W. G. Waters, J. M. McAvoy, S. E. Crow, George A. Black and H. L. Irwin. Waters was chosen as president, McAvoy vice-president, George S. Edwards, treasurer, and H. L. Irwin, secretary.”


July 20, 1903 [LAT/SB]: “The Board of Supervisors has appointed Captain Waters and Dr. Hester sheep inspectors for Santa Barbara County.”


September 17, 1903 [SBMP]: “The troubles of the San Miguel Island Company, which have occupied the attention of the courts for a number of years, have at last been settled, Captain William G. Waters having purchased the interests of J. F. Conroy and other small stockholders, and in the near future will dissolve the corporation and manage the island on his own account. The deal whereby Mr. Waters becomes the sole owner of the property was consummated Monday afternoon, when the one-third interest owned by Mr. Conroy was taken over. The other outstanding stock is but a few shares, and this will also pass to the hands of Mr. Waters…”


September 17, 1903 [LAT/SB]: “Captain W. G. Waters, president of the San Miguel Island Company, which conducts a large cattle and sheep business on the island, has just purchased the stock of J. F. Conroy of Los Angeles. Captain Waters expects to have absolute control of the island in the near future. The San Miguel Island Company has been engaged in litigation for years past, owing to differences between Captain Waters and Mr. Conroy, who control the majority of the stock.”


December 1, 1903 [SBMP]: “During the past month 1.31 inches of rain fell on San Miguel Island, according to observer Waters.”


December 19, 1903 [SBI]: “Captain Colice Vasquez took a boatload of supplies over to San Miguel Island for Captain Waters today, and when his cargo is delivered he will enter upon a hunt for big bull sea lions, whose favorite resort is the island in question. The animals are wanted for exhibition at the world’s fair at St. Louis next year, hence the principal requirement is large size.”


March 4, 1904 [SBI]: “The gasoline launch Peerless went to San Miguel last evening to bring Captain Waters over to the mainland. The captain has been on the island for the past month superintending his interests there.”


March 14, 1904 [SBMP]: “A suit was commenced in the Superior Court yesterday by E. Beckman, formerly of this city, against W. C. Waters as president and principal stockholder of the San Miguel Island Company. The complaint is a voluminous affair and alleges that the San Miguel Island was sold by the plaintiff to Waters in 1892 for $7000, only $1,000 of which has been paid. It further alleges that the island is now the property of the plaintiff and is held illegally by the corporation, and asks for an injunction, restraining the company from selling or disposing of the property, and for an accounting. J. F. Conroy is attorney for plaintiff.”


March 16, 1904 [SBMP]: “Captain William G. Waters returned Monday from San Miguel Island where he has been for the past month looking after his stock there. He reports heavy rainfall and says he has sufficient feed to carry him through the summer.”


March 27, 1904 [SBMP]: “Sheep shearing time having arrived, the usual exodus to the islands has set in. Captain Waters left yesterday with a crew to clip his flock on San Miguel, expecting to be gone a month.”


October 11, 1904 [SBMP]: “Captain Waters had a letter yesterday from his foreman on San Miguel Island, who reports the rainfall for the recent storm at 3.21 inches, and that the feed is growing nicely. The hottest temperature recorded during the hot spell last month was 79.”


February 8, 1905 [SBMP]: “The sloop Pride returned from San Miguel Island where it had taken Captain Waters and a number of sheep shearers. The captain of the Pride reports that six inches of rain fell in four days on the island while he was there, and that it was still raining when he left. The trip over was made against a heavy sea and high winds.”


February 26, 1905 [SBMP]: “The Pride will take on a load of supplies on Monday and will sail Tuesday morning for San Miguel Island and bring back Captain Waters and his sheep shearers, who have been on the island for several weeks. They have sheared about 2,000 sheep on the island.”


June 27, 1905 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters returned from his island sheep ranch on San Miguel. He has been on the island for several weeks, making the trip on the Peerless. He reports delightful weather. Feed on the island is plentiful, and the sheep are in fine condition.”


July 4, 1905 [SBMP]: “Captain Vasquez will sail this morning with a load of supplies for Captain Waters, San Miguel Island. From there he will go to San Nicolas Island in order to bring Frank Nidever and Clarence Libbey, abalone fishermen, who have been on the island for three months. Their catch of abalone meat, shells and pearls will also be brought in on the boat.”


October 6, 1905 [SBMP]: “The launch Peerless left yesterday for a trip to San Miguel Island, having taken over Captain Waters, proprietor of the island who will remain there for some time looking after his business interests on the island.”


October 13, 1905 [SBMP]: “The Peerless returned from San Miguel Island where she went a few days ago with Captain Waters, proprietor of the island. The boatmen reported that the west coast of San Miguel is strewn with lumber washed ashore from the schooner J. M. Colman, which was grounded on the rocks over a month ago. The boat brought in a load of the wreckage. The Colman is still on the rocks, but will soon be beaten to pieces.”


November 1, 1905 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters who has just returned from San Miguel Island, reports that the wrecked schooner Colman still stands on the reefs of that island about 100 feet from shore, and is in good shape to stand until a big storm strikes the hull. There is a lighter on the shore left by those who attempted to get the lumber from the schooner. On this lighter are 48 7 x 16 inch timbers, 32 feet long, besides the lighter’s equipment of boilers, engine, wrench and pulleys.”


February 17, 1906 [SBMP]: “A letter from Captain Waters, who is now on San Miguel Island, states that the schooner Colman, going ashore there several months ago, is still visible, but there is little hope of ever saving her.”


March 3, 1906 [SBMP]: “Captain Merry returned yesterday from a trip to San Miguel Island in his power yacht Vishnu. He left this city last Saturday, taking Captain Waters and ten sheep shearers to the island. The channel was very rough and it was necessary to stop over the first night at Valdez Harbor. The next night was spent in a harbor at Santa Rosa Island, Cuyler's Harbor on San Miguel being reached on Monday morning. The sheep were found to be in excellent condition.”


March 21, 1906 [SBMP]: “The power yacht Vishnu sailed yesterday for San Miguel Island and will return with Captain W. G. Waters and his sheep shearers, who have been on the island for several weeks clipping the annual wool crop.”


April 19, 1906 [SBI]: “The auxiliary power launch Vishnu, Captain Merry, left this forenoon for San Miguel Island with Captain William G. Waters, one of the principal owners of the island, and a number of men, the latter to be engaged in rounding up the several thousands of head of sheep that are on the island and which will soon be clipped. The Vishnu also took a large quantity of supplies to be used on the island.”


May 11, 1906 [LAT/SB]: “Captain W. G. Waters, commander of Starr King post, left last evening for San Francisco where he will spend a few days before going to Redding, at which place he will attend the department encampment of the G. A. R. on May 17, 18 and 19…”


May 15, 1906 [SBI]: “San Miguel Island to be exploited for oil. Mysterious trip is made by alleged experts of the Standard Oil to the island with apparent satisfaction. If certain facts which have just become known are correct, it is ore than probable that the island of San Miguel will be the scene of extensive oil drilling operations within the next thirty or sixty days… The Independent called on Captain Merry today and questioned him about the trip. He was somewhat reluctant to speak…Captain Waters, who claims a possessory title over the island, is at present attending a G. A. R. encampment…”


June 17, 1906 [SBMP]: “In the district court of appeal a decision has been rendered in the case of Beckman vs. Waters, a case appealed from the superior court of Santa Barbara county, and involving an alleged balance due for the purchase of San Miguel Island from Beckman by Waters. The judgment of the lower court is reversed, and the case remanded with instructions to over rule defendant’s demurrer. The judgment was in favor of the defendant on demurrer, but as the copy of the decision of the appellate court has not been received as yet, it is not known on what grounds the reversal is ordered.”


July 5, 1906 [SBMP]: “Celebration of the Fourth was quiet but most enjoyable… The veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic marched down State Street to the tunes of familiar martial music from the Schoonover drum corps. They were followed by the Uniform Bank of the Maccabees. Captain W. G. Waters of the Grand Army acting as marshal of the day…”


July 25, 1906 [SBI]: “Captain Waters expects to leave tomorrow for San Miguel Island to look after his sheep interests there. He expects to supply the Los Angeles market with a goodly number of them and his visit to the island is with this end in view. Later he plans to go east for a visit of some length.”


July 29, 1906 [SBMP]: “The launch Irene returned from San Miguel Island yesterday noon in charge of Ira Eaton. The Irene left last Thursday with Captain Waters, who went over to gather together a few hundred head of sheep for shipment in the schooner Santa Rosa Island to Port Los Angeles. The shipment will be made on Tuesday. The Irene left for Santa Cruz Island last night with a party of fishermen on a pleasure cruise.”


August 3, 1906 [SBMP]: “Seven hundred head of sheep were shipped from San Miguel Island in a schooner to San Pedro yesterday by Captain Waters, the captain accompanying the stock to that port. Ira Eaton returned to the city in the evening with his launch, bringing in a number of workmen who have been handling the sheep on the island.”


August 25, 1906 [SBI]: “From the district court of appeals there has been received by the county clerk a copy of the certified opinion of the case of Elias Beckman against William G. Waters and others connected with the San Miguel Island Company. The case was tried in the superior court of this county several months ago. The court sustained a demurrer to the complaint and upon this point an appeal was taken. The case is sent back with instructions that the demurrer to the complaint be overruled. Beckman gave to Waters in the year 1892, an option on San Miguel Island, situated in the Santa Barbara channel, Waters agreeing to pay the sum of $8000. Of this sum, it has been alleged in the complaint, only $2500 has been paid. Beckman contended that the terms of the agreement had not been complied with and asked that all interests claimed by the defendant be declared void and that an accounting be given.”


November 18, 1906 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters, the commander of Starr King post G. A. R., returned last evening from an extended trip through the east. He attended the national encampment at Minneapolis in September, and later visited his old home in Maine. Boston, New York and other important places were also visited.”


January 17, 1907 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters, accompanied by his son, Charles Waters of Minneapolis, and his brother, John Waters of Boston, will leave today on the sloop Peerless to San Miguel Island. They expect to return Saturday.”


December 16, 1906 [SBMP]: “A new phase of the apparently indeterminable San Miguel Island litigation was brought out in the superior court by by the filing of an answer to a complaint that had been filed about three months ago by Elias Beckman against William G. Waters and the stockholders of the San Miguel Island Company. The case has been in court in one way or another for several years past, Beckman claiming ownership to the island and that he is entitled to $24,000 as the amount of the profits derived from that advantage that had been enjoyed from the benefits of the arrangement that had been made with Captain Waters. Beckman alleges that Waters organized a company and actually took full possession of the island, denying that Beckman possessed any interest in it. In the original proceedings a demurrer to the complaint that had been filed by Beckman was sustained and Beckman took an apeal to the supreme court, where the ruling of the lower court was reversed and the case was sent back to the lower court for a new trial. About three months ago Beckman filed a new complaint and no proceedings have since taken place in connection with the case until the filing was made yesterday, making answer to the new complaint.”


January 25, 1907 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters, president of San Miguel Island Company, returned yesterday from San Miguel Island in the Peerless. Captain Waters crossed the channel several days ago, accompanied by his son and brother. He reports 9 inches of rain on the island since the first day of the year, this soaking having been extremely beneficial in every way, and having done no particular damage to property.”


March 17, 1907 [SBMP]: “Captain Waters, who returned from the islands last Friday, reports that he found a large piece of wreckage on the north side of San Miguel Island. Upon the boards the words Sea Foam were painted in gilt letters six or seven inches long. Captain Waters has brought the relic over with him in hopes that some clue may be found to this mystery of the deep. The captain reports also that shearing operations were seriously impeded by excessive and continuous rain.”


March 26, 1907 [LAT]: “W. G. Waters of San Miguel Island is slated by the Grand Army men for commander of the Department of California and Nevada during the coming year. Mr. Waters, who has owned San Miguel for many years…


April 13, 1907 [LAT]: “At the afternoon session of the G.A.R. department encampment the following officers were elected: Department Commander, Captain William G. Waters… Captain W. G. Waters, Commander of Starr King Post of Santa Barbara, the department Commander -elect … when but 14 he started to earn his own living, serving as a clerk in Boston and studying evenings. In 1861, at the first call to arms, he enlisted in Company C 15th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, under Col. Charles Devens, and participated in the battles of Ball’s Bluff, Second Bull Run, Fair Oaks, Antietam, Harper’s Ferry, the two battles of Fredericksburg and other engagements. In 1862 he was commissioned first lieutenant, and was honorably discharged in the following year on account of physical disability brought on by exposure, and the vicissitudes of war. After the return of peace, he was elected captain of his company and commissioned by Gov. Andrews of Massachusetts. Captain Waters joined his brother, who was interested in the Boston Daily Advertiser, and assumed charge of the pressroom. In 1877 he became superintendent of the Morning Call in San Francisco, and installed the first rapid perfecting press on the Pacific Coast. Ten years later he moved to Santa Barbara, on account of the failing health of his wife, and bought an interest in San Miguel Island of 13,000 acres, which he stocked with fine Merino sheep and full-blooded Jersey cattle. He is now president and the largest stock- holder of the concern, owning the livestock interests there. Captain Waters is also prominent in Masonic circles, having joined that order in 1864, and is also a Knight Templar. He is also a member of the Jonathan Club of Los Angeles, and a member of the Sons of the Revolution.”


December 8, 1907 [SBMP]: “Captain Vasquez has gone to San Miguel Island with the auxiliary schooner Gussie M, his passenger list including Captain Waters and brother, as well as several sheep men. The trip is made for the purpose of selecting Christmas lambs for markets, although Vasquez is likely to keep his weather eye open for pirates.”


January 3, 1908 [SBMP]: “Captain Waters, who has been unabke to make a landing on his island for some weeks past on account of the stormy weather prevailing outside the kelp, expects to take a band of shearers over to San Miguel Island on the 20th inst., fair or foul.”


February 21, 1908 [SBMP]: “Captain Waters returned to this city yesterday from his island ranch on the Gussie M bringing over a gang of sheep shearers. Captain Waters reported everything most prosperous. The crop of wool this year was very good.”


April 3, 1908 [SBI]: “There is 10,000 feet of lumber loaded on a barge at San Miguel Island waiting for smoother seas before it can be transported to Cuyler’s Harbor, where Captain W. G. Waters is building a house. Captain R. Vasquez, after waiting 12 days for the wind to subside, returned to Santa Barbara without taking the barge to sea.”


April 12, 1908 [SBMP]: “Captain William G. Waters, past department commander of the Grand Army of the Republic in California and Nevada, returned home last night from the convention held in Santa Ana. Captain Waters is very enthusiastic over the entertainment accorded the veterans…”


May 1, 1908 [SBI]: “Permanent wireless telegraph connection between Santa Barbara Islands and this city is the project now being seriously considered by Captain W. G. Waters, owner of San Miguel Island… J. S. Reynolds has offered to install the system, and it now seems likely that before many weeks dwellers on San Miguel and Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa islands will be able to transact business and talk to their friends on the mainland by wireless…”


June 10, 1908 [SBI]: “Captain Vasquez will leave for San Miguel Island tomorrow with Captain W. G. Waters, who is building a large ranch house on his property there. The building will be handsomely finished and will serve as a summer home for Captain Waters.”


June 23, 1908 [SBI]: “Captain Vasquez this morning left in the Gussie M for the islands with Captain W. G. Waters, who will go to San Miguel, and a party of campers who will spend two weeks on Santa Cruz. They are Ed Stevens and Mr. and Mrs. Ben Stafford.”


June 30, 1908 [SBI]: “Captain Vasquez’ Gussie M, and the power schooner Santa Cruz, both arrived from the islands this morning. Captain W. G. Waters was left at his ranch at San Miguel Island, where he will remain for two months. The last consignment of seals were shipped east by Captain Vasquez today.”


September 5, 1908 [SBI]: “Chamber of Commerce favors protection for sea lion and abalone… such protection was brought before the directors of the Chamber of Commerce by George W. McComber… McComber said he had heard that sea lions were being ruthlessly slaughtered. As for abalone he said it had been brought to his attention that Chinamen were gathering the shells irrespective of size. He quoted Captain W. C. Waters to the effect that no abalone would be left on San Miguel if the present rate of destruction continued four years more…”


September 8, 1908 [LAH]: “Santa Barbara, September 7… Captain William G. Waters, owner of San Miguel Island, one of the islands of the Santa Barbara group, is authority for the statement that if the ruthless slaughter of seals and the gathering of abalone shells by Chinese shall continue for four years more on the same scale as has prevailed in the past, both of these amphibian denizens will be exterminated. Professor Rowley of Stanford University, who recently visited the islands, is another champion of special legislation to protect the abalone and the seals...”


October 8, 1908 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters is now completing the first modern house to be erected on any of the Santa Barbara islands. It is situated far up on the hillside of San Miguel Island, 600 feet above the sea, and the broad verandas will command an overlook which would compare with that of any Mediterranean resort. The new home is built around three sides of a court or patio, and is but one story high. There will be eight large rooms and a bath, with running water in several rooms. When completed, the house is to be headquarters for Captain Waters' San Miguel ranch, with numerous out buildings for storing machinery and supplies…”


November 17, 1908 [SBI]: “Tomorrow the long contested suit of Elias Beckman against Captain W. G. Waters and the San Miguel Island Company, which has been before the courts for the last four years, will be reopened in the Superior court, with Judge Monroe of Los Angeles presiding. The suit concerns the personal property on San Miguel Island, the island belonging to the government. The suit was brought in March 1894, by Elias Beckman, to secure possession of the island and prevent it from being transferred to the San Miguel Island Company. The plaintiff claimed in his complaint that the defendant held the property only by a deed of trust and had no right to dispose of it. The original complaint was demurred to and the demurrer sustained. A demurrer to amend the amended complaint was also sustained, and taken to the Appellate court. Here the decision of the Superior court was reversed and the case sent back to the Superior court of Santa Barbara County, to be tried. This trial was to have begun today, but owing to the absence of some of the interested parties, it was continued until tomorrow, when the fight will be taken up again in earnest. As the case is somewhat involved, it will probably require several days to hear. Beckman claims that when he transferred the property to Captain Waters, about February 1, 1892, he did so through a deed of trust. The provisions of this deed have never been carried out, plaintiff claims, and he asks that the defendant be enjoined from transferring the property to the San Miguel Island Company and that an accounting be given as to receipts and expenditures for all of the time the defendant has held the property. The defendants claim that the property was entirely conveyed to them and that the plaintiff has no right to it. J. F. Conroy, of Los Angeles, represents Beckman. Judge Day appears for Captain Waters, with Henry C. Booth as attorney for the San Miguel Island Company. As Judge Crow is a witness for the plaintiff, he is disqualified to sit in the case, which accounts for the fact that a Los Angeles judge will preside.”


November 18, 1908 [SFCall]: “Santa Barbara, November 17. Title to the whole of San Miguel Island, comprising 14,000 acres, is at stake in a suit to be reopened in this city tomorrow before Judge Monroe of Los Angeles. The case has been pending for the last four years. It was tried in a local court, carried to the appellate court on demurrer; overruled, and sent back to this court for retrial. The island was transferred from Elias Beckman to W. G. Waters in 1892. Beckman claims the transfer was made only by deed of trust, and he sues to prevent the transfer to the San Miguel Island Company. Waters and the San Miguel Island Company claim a complete transfer, and a hard fight is expected. San Miguel is the smallest of the Santa Barbara islands. Aside from the claims of the contestants, the state also is said to have a claim on the property.”


November 18, 1908 [SBI]: “Captain Waters testifies in San Miguel contest. The long contested suit for the possession of San Miguel Island, which has been before the courts for the last four years, was again opened in the Superior court this morning, with Judge Monroe of Los Angeles presiding. Elias Beckman, plaintiff in the action brought against Captain W. G. Waters and the San Miguel Island Company, did not appear in court this morning. Owing to the non-appearance of Beckman, J. F. Conroy of Los Angeles, who, with associate counsel Squier represents the plaintiff, moved for a continuance. The motion was overruled by the court. Another motion for a continuance was made on the ground that the physical condition of Attorney Conroy rendered him unfit to take part in the case. The motion was also overruled and the taking of testimony began. Judge Crow was the first witness to be placed on the stand. His testimony was in regard to making out the legal documents which conveyed the property from Beckman to Waters. Captain Waters was next on the stand, being examined as to the revenues which have been received from the island since he acquired it. His examination was not completed until afternoon. Judge Day and Henley C. Booth represented the defendants. Aside from oral testimony, much documentary evidence was introduced regarding the transfer of San Miguel Island from Beckman to Waters. The dispute is in regard to the nature of the deed conveying the property to the defendant Waters. As the case is somewhat involved, it will probably be several days before the matter is submitted to the court for a decision. Late this afternoon Attorney Booth, representing the San Miguel Island Company, made a motion for non-suit, and after argument, the matter was taken under advisement until tomorrow morning by Judge Monroe.”


November 19, 1908 [SBI]: “San Miguel Island remains in possession of Captain Waters and the San Miguel Island Company. At the close of the presentation of the case, shortly before noon yesterday, Judge Monroe decided in favor of the defendants, and gave judgment accordingly. His main reason for so doing was that Elias Beckman waited too long before bringing action. The case opened this morning with a denial by the court of a motion for non-suit, made yesterday afternoon by Attorney Henley C. Booth, representing the San Miguel Island Company. The defense then took the stand, Captain Waters being the only witness. His testimony was to the effect that the whole transaction was in the shape of a mortgage and not a conveyance. Of the amount of the mortgage he claimed, only $1500 had ever been paid. Attorneys J. F. Conroy and E. W. Squier for the plaintiff argued their side of the case. The court did not ask for argument from the defendants, but decided in their favor on the showing of the testimony. In passing on the case, Judge Monroe stated that his reasons for deciding in favor of the defendants were based on the facts that Beckman did not appear in the case; that he had waited too long before attempting to recover the property and that it appeared that the San Miguel Island Company had been in open possession of the island and its improvements for several years.”


November 20, 1908 [SBMP]: “Judge Monroe of Los Angeles who has been in this city [Santa Barbara] two days hearing the case of Elias Beckman [plaintiff] vs. Captain William G. Waters [defendant], known as the San Miguel Island case, yesterday decided the matter in favor of the defendant.”


February 24, 1909 [LAT/SB]: “The Gussie M took Captain Waters and a sheep shearing gang over to San Miguel Island today.”


March 17, 1909 [SBMP]: “Overdue again, this time from San Miguel Island, the power schooner Gussie M in charge of Captain Vasquez, with Captain William G. Waters, his sheep shearers and Ah Poy, the abalone fisher on board, is hourly expected. The little vessel sailed from here some time days ago to bring back the people from the island, but it is believed that severe storms which have not been felt here, have prevented the schooner from making a landing or from loading the passengers and freight homeward bound...”


March 19, 1909 [SBMP]: “With Captain Colice Vasquez, half-owner of the vessel, at the wheel, the power schooner Gussie M arrived in this harbor yesterday from San Miguel Island after a tempestuous voyage that tried the seamanship and patience of even this rugged veteran of the briny. The schooner brought in Captain William G. Waters and his sheep shearers, but the stormy weather prevented loading several tons of abalone meat and a number of tons of abalone shell, to say nothing of Ah Poy, the Chinese abalone fisher, and his men. The latter are still on the island and Captain Vasquez will have to make another trip to bring them home...”


March 24, 1909 [SBI]: “Captain Waters urges building inner harbor… ’I cannot understand why the citizens of Santa Barbara do not convert the estero into an inner harbor,’ said Captain W. G. Waters today… Captain Waters recently returned from San Miguel Island. He says that sheep shearing on the island has been finished for this season and that the sheep were cleaner than for years past owing to the heavy rains.”


March 24, 1909 [SBI]: “…Captain Waters recently returned from San Miguel Island. He says that sheep shearing on the island has been finished for this season and that the sheep were cleaner than for years past owing to the heavy rains.”


June 16, 1909 [SBMP]: “The crew of the Baltic, which returned from Santa Cruz Island yesterday, brought the report that the Charm, Captain Short, went ashore at Pelican Bay yesterday morning, smashing in her side and damaging her to a serious extent. It is reported that the Charm, while anchored, either broke or fouled her anchor chains and went onto the rocks. It could not be learned last night whether anyone was on the boat at the time of the accident, or whether it had yet been pulled off the rocks. Captain Short, accompanied by Captain Waters, left last Sunday for San Miguel Island with a cargo of general merchandise, intending to stop at Santa Cruz on his return trip.”


June 25, 1909 [SBMP]: “Captain Short returned from San Miguel Island yesterday in the Charm, and expressed great surprise when he learned that he had been reported wrecked at Pelican Bay, Santa Cruz Island. Captain Short emphatically stated that he had not been near Pelican Bay on this trip and could not see how the crew of the Baltic could have circulated such a report. Captain Waters and Martin Whittingham, who accompanied him on the trip, will remain until July 15 on San Miguel Island. After making another trip to Santa Cruz Island, Captain Short will take the Charm to San Pedro where it will be completely overhauled and refitted. During the stay at San Miguel Island, Captain Short took a large number of pictures of the sea lion herds on the rocks. One picture showed more than 25 pups, not one of which was over two weeks old.”


July 21, 1909 [SBI]: “Captain W. G. Waters came back last evening from San Miguel Island. He found the weather unusually cold there for this time of year but the feed was good and everything looked prosperous.”


October 26, 1909 [SBMP]: “Captain Short left for San Miguel Island last night in his launch Charm, carrying a cargo of supplies for Captain Waters, owner of the island. In the cargo were a number of wicker chairs of all descriptions. On the return trip the last of this week, the Charm will touch at both Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz islands.”


December 16, 1909 [SBI]: “Captain Henry Short expects to sail on Saturday or the first of next week for San Miguel Island with mail and provisions for the people who are working on the ranch there. Captain W. G. Waters and his brother [John] will arrive from Los Angeles possibly tomorrow, and will be taken to San Miguel, which is the property of Captain Waters. From San Miguel, Captain Short will proceed to Santa Rosa. Here the mail and provisions for this island will be left. Frank Pepper, manager of the island ranch, is to return in the Charm to spend Christmas holidays in Santa Barbara. This is the regular monthly trip, which Captain Short makes to these two islands...”


December 30, 1909 [SBWP]: “Captain W. G. Waters will leave this morning in Captain Short’s launch, the Charm, for San Miguel Island. The Charm is loaded with provisions and a number of articles with which Captain Waters is furnishing his large ranch house, recently finished. There are about 5,000 sheep on the island at this time, and Captain Waters stated yesterday that the wool this year would be exceptionally fine as the recent heavy rains have washed it clean. Shearing will commence in about a month or six weeks.”


April 20, 1910 [SBI]: “…Within the past year, Captain W. G. Waters has completed a large ranch house on San Miguel Island…”


July 1, 1910 [SBI]: “Captain W. G. Waters, after spending a few days at his island home, San Miguel, returned yesterday on Captain Henry Short’s launch, the Charm. Captain Waters left here June 21 for San Miguel. An unusually high sea was experienced at that time and Captain Short deemed it unsafe to try to effect a landing at San Miguel when within a few miles of the island. Tuesday night was spent with campers on Santa Cruz Island, 36 miles east and on the following Thursday morning, the seas having becalmed, the voyage was continued to San Miguel.”


August 5, 1910 [SBMP]: “The power yacht Charm returned last night from a ten days’ pleasure cruise around the Santa Barbara islands, having on board a party of Carpinterians who report a most delightful voyage. They visited and encircled four islands of the group… At San Miguel they were entertained at the ranch house of Captain W. G. Waters, and saw all of the many natural attractions that make this most western isle of the Santa Barbara aggregation interesting...”


November 15, 1910 [SBMP]: “If the weather is favorable, Captain W. G. Waters will leave Wednesday in the Charm for his island ranch, San Miguel.”


December 13, 1910 [SBMP]: “That one of the Santa Barbara Channel Islands may be chosen as a quarantine station for government stock shipped from Philippines to America is a possible result of the visit of G. B. Vorrheis, a federal agent now in this vicinity… Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa islands are both owned by private corporations… San Miguel Island is held by Captain Waters under rights that never yet have been successfully questioned…”


December 13, 1910 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters leaves today by the Charm, Captain Henry S. Short, for his island ranch, San Miguel, to be gone several days.”


August 5, 1910 [SBMP]: “The power yacht Charm returned from a ten days’ pleasure cruise around the Santa Barbara islands, having on board a party of Carpinterians who report a most delightful voyage. They visited and encircled four islands of the group: San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz and Anacapa. At San Miguel they were entertained at the ranch house of Captain W. G. Waters, and saw all of the many natural attractions that make this most western isle of the Santa Barbara aggregation interesting... The voyagers were Joseph and Edward Moore, Anna Moore, Henry Fish, Julia Fish, Thomas Fish, Miss Hammond, Miss Oglesby, Miss Gorham, Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton, Mrs. Alexander, Raymond and Margaret Short and Captain H. S. Short, the owner of the Charm.”


January 20, 1911 [SBMP]: “According to reports brought yesterday from the Channel Islands, they failed to receive any benefits from the recent rains that saved the season for the mainland farmers and cattlemen. The rainfall on Santa Rosa Island was less than half an inch; while about a quarter of an inch was reported on Santa Cruz, with scarcely none on the west end. These reports were brought over by Captains Nidever and Libby of island boats. While there has been nothing heard from San Miguel Island, which is the most westerly of the group, it is supposed that the same condition prevails there. Captain Short with the Charm left early this morning for San Miguel to get Captain W. G. Waters, the owner, and his brother, who has been there for a few weeks…”


January 27, 1911 [SBMP]: “Quarantine station for goats proposed for San Miguel Island…The quarantine is principally against the foot and mouth disease which has become a scourge among the cattle of certain portions of Europe…Accordingly, an effort is to be made to secure modifications of the federal government’s quarantine against Swiss goats, with the understanding that one of the Channel Islands here will be used as a quarantine station, with thorough inspection by government of all animals before they are finally brought to the mainland. The cooperation of Captain W. G. Waters, owner of San Miguel Island, has been promised…”


February 10, 1911 [LAT]: “Captain Henry Short, in the launch Charm, left today for San Miguel Island with supplies for the sheep shearers’ camp. The sheep shearers will go over next week with Captain Waters.”


February 20, 1911 [LAT]: “Captain Henry Short is to convey a large party of sheep shearers to San Miguel Island Tuesday in the launch Charm.”


February 22, 1911 [SBMP]: “To San Miguel. The powerboat Charm, Captain H. S. Short, will leave today for San Miguel Island with Captain W. G. Waters, owner of the island, and ten sheep shearers who will be busy for some weeks with the spring clip.”


March 1, 1911 [LAT]: “William G. Waters of Santa Barbara, has maintained sheep on San Miguel Island, where Cabrillo’s bones are supposed to be entombed, for the past twenty-five years, having enjoyed possession through a lease from the United States government. The captain has become greatly attached to the island and when the government set it aside for lighthouse purposes, he realized that he was about to lose his tenure. Bethinking himself that when Spain ceded certain islands in the Pacific to Mexico, she did not include San Miguel and that, in consequence, Mexico did not and could not cede it to the United States, and feeling that his long possession gave him title superior to that held by any one else, Captain Waters appealed to the President to rescind the order of April 23, 1909, reserving the island for lighthouse purposes. The President took the matter up with the Secretary of Commerce and Labor, who informed Senator Flint of the facts and the latter has communicated them to Captain Waters. Secretary Nagel, in his letter to Senator Flint, said: ‘It is not considered advisable to comply with Mr. Water’s request in this regard, as this island will very likely be of value to the government as a camp or headquarters during the construction of the proposed Richardson Rock light station, in case Congress should authorize its construction. An estimate for a light and fog signal station on Richardson Rock was submitted by this department in its estimates for the fiscal year 1912. If a light station should be established on Richardson Rock, it is not contemplated that one shall also be provided on San Miguel Island. It is reported that the sheep have grazed the island so closely that the sand is drifting badly and there is a possibility that the government may take steps to plant grass and trees to prevent further shifting of the sand.”


March 2, 1911 [SBMP]: “According to a dispatch from Washington, Captain W. G. Waters, owner of San Miguel Island, has appealed to Senator Flint to have rescinded an order setting apart San Miguel Island for lighthouse purposes. The appeal has been unavailing, thus far... It is reported that sheep have grazed the island so closely that the sand is drifting badly, and there is a possibility that the Government may take steps to plant grass and trees to prevent further shifting of the sand.”


March 8, 1911 [SBI]: “Captain Henry Short will leave here in the launch, Charm, Thursday morning for San Miguel Island to bring back Captain William G. Waters and his gang of sheep shearers.”


March 28, 1911 [SBMP]: “Earthquake felt on San Miguel Island. Captain W. G. Waters, who returned last night from San Miguel Island, stated that on Tuesday evening at exactly 8:25 o’clock, a severe earthquake shock was experienced, followed by another smaller one about 15 seconds after. The ranch house, which is strongly constructed to withstand the severe winds that blow on the island, was rocked violently and windows and dishes rattled loudly, but was surprised to hear that no severe quake had been felt on the mainland.”


March 30, 1911 [SBI]: “A severe earthquake was felt on San Miguel Island about 8:25 o’clock Tuesday evening reports Captain William G. Waters, who returned from there Wednesday night in Captain Henry Short’s Charm. Captain Waters says the ranch house on the island rocked violently.”


May 23, 1911 [SBI]: “Captain Henry Short left in the launch Charm for San Miguel Island carrying as a passenger Captain William G. Waters.”


October 3, 1911 [SBMP]: “The cargo and rigging of the wrecked lumber schooner Comet will be brought from San Miguel Island to this city if the plans of Captain Henry Short of the Charm and Captain Waters, owner of San Miguel Island, will be carried out. They are now the owners of the wreck, Vail & Vickers, owners of Santa Rosa Island, having abandoned their option some days ago, after a careful investigation of the stranded schooner. Waters and Short are in the best possible position to handle the wreck, by reason of the facilities at their command. Captain Waters has a number of mules on San Miguel, and they can be utilized in carting the lumber from the shore to Cuyler’s bay, a distance of two miles, where it can be made into rafts, and towed across the channel when weather conditions are favorable. A certain quantity of the cargo can be floated from the wreck itself, just how the wreckers do not care to divulge—being a trade secret. The Comet carried a general cargo of both dimension and finish lumber, and the material will find a ready sale if it can be landed here.”


October 29, 1911 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters sends important news from San Francisco on authority of lighthouse board. Captain W. G. Waters, owner of San Miguel Island, writes to the Press from San Francisco some interesting news regarding lighthouses on the Channel Islands. Under the date of October 26th he says: ‘I had a long talk with Commander W. A. Moffit of the 18th Lighthouse District this morning, and he gave me this information which you are at liberty to use as you see fit: They are to begin work at once on a lighthouse at Richardson Rock, which is off the west end of San Miguel Island, distance about seven miles. The tower is to be 70 feet high, and the light will be 120 feet high, visible 18 miles. It will be an acetylene eclipse light. The light is to be three-tenths seconds and dark seven-tenths seconds. There will also be a whistling buoy on or off the rock. Commander Moffit informs me that he will probably put a whistling buoy or light on the west side of San Miguel Island, some little distance off shore. There will also be an acetylene eclipse light on the east end of Anacapa Island 150 high, visible 18 miles. There will be a whistling buoy off this point. They will begin work on this at once also.”


November 2, 1911 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters, returning yesterday from San Francisco, reports that in addition to the lighthouses to be erected on the Channel Islands, as he reported to the Press some days ago, the lighthouse board has decided to place a bell buoy on Wilson Rock, northwest from San Miguel Island, and marking an important entrance to the channel.”


December 7, 1911 [SBI]: “Captain Waters, owner of San Miguel Island, will leave tomorrow for Los Angeles. He will make a trip next week to San Miguel to see what is being done with the wreck of the Comet from which he and Captain Short are securing the lumber. Captain Waters says that so far they have been greatly hindered in their work on the wreck by rough weather, which has prevailed since the wrecking began. Better weather is expected during the winter, when the southwesterly winds calm the water on the northwest corner of the island, where the Comet was wrecked.”


December 9, 1911 [SBMP]: “The Supreme Court has affirmed the Santa Barbara Superior Court in denying a new trial in the case of Elias Beckman vs. W. G. Waters and the San Miguel Island Company. The suit is of long standing, and involved the ownership of the company. Waters is left in possession.” This litigation resulted in the U.S. Government exercising its right of ownership to San Miguel Island.


December 14, 1911 [SBI]: “Captain Short arrived here last night in the Charm from San Miguel Island. He reports that as yet he has been unable to get an anchor hold in the hard clay that lies under the water where the lumber schooner Comet grounded. Captain Short expects to leave for the island again tomorrow morning. He will take with him Captain Waters, the owner of the island.”


December 19, 1911 [LAT]: “Supreme Court ends a long fight for island. In the matter of an island, Robinson Crusoe and his man Friday never had anything on the litigants involved in the much-disputed possession of San Miguel Island off the coast, which was finally brought to an end by the State Supreme Court yesterday. As the climax to a seven-year fight, the highest tribunal has decided against the claims of Elias Beckman in favor of William G. Waters and the San Miguel Island Company. The dispute over the 14,000 acres included by the island turned upon the point as to whether $7000 to have been paid by Beckman to Waters was in return for an actual deed to the territory or merely a mortgage lien upon it. An instrument cast in the form of a bill of sale was executed by Waters to Beckman at the time part of the money was paid. Beckman held that the document was a mortgage. The decision of the Santa Barbara County Superior Court, which was affirmed by the Supreme Court, was that the property was never delivered to Beckman, that he never had possession of the land, that Waters in no sense acted as Beckman’s trustee, that the consideration constituted only a mortgage and that, finally, the claim of Beckman was barred by the statute of limitations anyway. The action was begun March 11, 1904 and the amended complaint, filed July 2, 1904, alleged that on February 1, 1892, Waters executed to Beckman a deed conveying the island. On February 1, 1892, Beckman gave Waters an instrument providing that Waters, his heirs or assigns might within three years pay $7000 for the property, and agreed to reconvey the island to such payers. On March 25, 1892, Waters paid $1000 on the purchase price, and prior to January 1, 1896, had paid $1500, when Beckman gave Waters further time to complete the payment. Beckman held possession of the island from February 1, 1892 to May 1, 1896. The property was in control of a manager who died May 11, 1896, when Waters assumed charge and has ever since held possession of the island. On March 8, 1897, Waters sold the land to the San Miguel Island Company, Waters remaining in charge as manager.”


December 19, 1911 [SBMP]: “The Supreme Court has affirmed the Santa Barbara Superior Court in the denying a new trial in the case of Elias Beckman v. W. G. Waters and the San Miguel Island Company. The suit is of long standing and involved the ownership of the island and the accounts of the company. Waters is left in possession.”


January 6, 1912 [SBI]: “Wrecked schooner is mine of salvage. Captain Short, master of the launch Charm, stands to make a good thing out of the wreck of the lumber schooner Comet which went aground and was lost several months ago on the coast of San Miguel Island. He and Captain Waters bought the stranded ship at a bargain and will manage to save nearly all of the cargo of lumber, as well as the ropes, rigging, sails and whatever else is of value. The Comet was loaded with about 500,000 feet of lumber, and of this from 300,000 to 400,000 feet has been practically recovered, together with $1,500 bundles of laths. The prospect is good for saving the remainder of the lumber cargo. An offer of $1,700 has been made for the donkey engine aboard the wreck, where it is now in constant use in handling cargo. Santa Barbara lumberyards will take the whole cargo of lumber recovered and it probably will be rafted across the channel in lots of 50,000 to 75,000 feet. Finally the wreck will be demolished to save several tons of copper sheathing timbers, and other valuable salvage.”


January 19, 1912 [SBMP]: “Electric cable under channel may supply new lighthouse from San Miguel to Richardson Rock. Juice may be transmitted through the sea… That the government may develop water power on San Miguel Island and therewith operate a dynamo to furnish electricity for the Richardson Rock light is the interesting feature of the proposed improvement stated by Captain Waters. There is a spring of some value on the hills of San Miguel, at an elevation of about 500 feet. This will give sufficient head to develop all of the electricity necessary. A seven-mile cable across the intervening channel bed will be part of the required transmission service. Captain Waters will accommodate three men to be sent by Captain Moffet to make preliminary investigations for lighthouse construction…”


January 20, 1912 [LAT/SB]: “As a starter towards the protection of the shipping interests that use the Santa Barbara channel and adjacent waters, the lighthouse service has placed a bell buoy off the west end of San Miguel Island. Captain William G. Waters, owner of San Miguel, returned yesterday from the island with this report and with the further report that Captain Moffett, inspector for this lighthouse district, had written that he would soon send three men to San Miguel to look over the situation with reference to the construction of a lighthouse on Richardson’s Rock, which is seven miles westward from the island.”


February 13, 1912 [SBI]: “Captain Waters, owner of San Miguel Island, said today that he had received many reports of a heavy death rate among the sheep on the islands. ‘From conditions I observed when I was last there, the reports must be correct,’ he said. Captain Waters said that although many sheep are dying, the cattle are still able to find a living. A heavy cold rain, however, would cause a real slaughter among both sheep and cattle. ‘If the rain comes in showers with warm weather, the sheep may pick up and all the cattle be saved,’ said the captain. ‘But if we get rain and it comes cold and heavy the sheep and cattle will die in bunches.’”


March 3, 1912 [SBMP]: “San Miguel, freak island, passes from possession of Captain Waters to Uncle Sam. Some years ago an earthquake broke off a chunk of San Miguel and it fell into the sea, making a new harbor in the coastline. In more recent times, winds brought clouds of sand from somewhere, filled deep canyons level to the top, swept over range ground upon which the thousands of sheep had fed, killing the grasses and driving the flocks out of the path of the wind, to the leeward side of the range of hills that form the backbone of the island. During the very peculiar February that has brought out new weather theories in many parts of California, the winds have again taken the maverick sands of San Miguel and carried them away mysteriously as they came, the canyons being cleaned and the dunes that ruined pastures being leveled, awaiting only rains to bring the feed back to its old nutritious value. There has even been a change this year in the romantic history of the island. For a score of years, Captain W. G. Waters has ‘owned’ San Miguel. He claimed that the treaty from Spain to Mexico to the United States did not mention San Miguel, therefore it was not American territory, but his own individual province by right of possession. Further than a visit by the United States marshal some years ago, in a civil action, there was never any attempt on the part of Uncle Sam to attack Captain Waters’ little republic, but now there had been a compromise effected. The American government has been recognized by Waters as owning San Miguel, and in return Waters has been given a five-year lease on the property. Then his tenancy and possessions end, unless he should be the fortunate bidder for a renewal lease. These diplomatic negotiations have been in progress for many years, and with their close comes also the end of a long period of litigation among rival claimants to San Miguel, all of them inspired by the apparent ease with which Captain Waters maintained his insular possessions, and all jealous of his success.”


April 13, 1912 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters arrived yesterday from San Miguel Island with reports of a good outlook for the season on the south side of the channel.”


April 17, 1912 [SBI]: “John A. Waters, brother of Captain W. G. Waters of this city, will leave tomorrow for his home in Boston. Mr. Waters, who is over 87 years of age, spends several months each winter with his brother in this city. He has extensive property near Chattanooga and a lake resort there, but he prefers Santa Barbara to any other winter resort he has found. Captain Waters will accompany his brother to Los Angeles.”


April 22, 1912 [SBI]: “Captain W. G. Waters returned here late Saturday from Los Angeles where he has been on a business trip, and also to accompany his brother John Waters part of the way on his journey.”


October 22, 1912 [SBI]: “Another attempt to recover the lumber stored aboard the schooner Comet, wrecked on San Miguel Island, is to be made by Captain Cornell. Captain Waters, owner of San Miguel Island, who returned here late Monday, said that the hull of the wreck was still in good condition and the lumber safe aboard. About six months ago Captain Short and Cornell brought to this port several large rafts of lumber from the wrecked schooner. Their attempt to recover the cargo was beset with many difficulties. Unfavorable weather kept their crews on the islands for weeks when no work could be done. Attempts to plant buoys near the vessel from which to string cables proved futile because the sea bottom near the wreck is too solid to drive anchors in. In this second attempt on the old wreck Captain Cornell has in partnership with him a lumber merchant from the south. It is understood that the two men mean to begin work immediately. They will attempt to raft the lumber to this port as was done before. Captain Waters in reporting the conditions on his island said that the weather was excellent and the sheep, of which there are thousands, are in fine condition.”


November 27, 1912 [SBMP]: “For the first time in making a passage to San Miguel Island during twenty or more years he has sailed the channel that intervenes, Captain W. G. Waters reports that he was compelled on his last trip to put in to Santa Cruz Island for two days until the high seas subsided. He reached home yesterday aboard the launch Charm. The return voyage was comparatively smooth, but at Cuyler’s Harbor at San Miguel Island, the waves were 10 to 15 feet high, while outside the breakers formed at nine fathoms. A heavy northwest swell was running, the result, he supposes, of a big storm up the coast. The salvaging of the lumber from the wrecked Comet has been abandoned for the present, on account of these weather conditions.”


March 28, 1913 [SBMP]: “Captain William G. Waters, lessee of San Miguel Island, is making plans for a visit to the island next week. He will take with him a number of shearers, and will spend several weeks overseeing the spring clip. The Captain is also busily engaged in gardening, which is one of his hobbies, and attending to new improvements around his new home on Victoria Street.”


March 28, 1913 [SBDN]: “Sheep shearing will begin on San Miguel Island next week. Captain William G. Waters, lessee of the island, will leave next week with men and provisions preparatory for the shearing.”


July 27, 1913 [SBMP]: “The Santa Rosa Island Company is just placing in commission at San Pedro, a fine new vessel, christened the Vaquero, which will take the place of the power schooner that has been in service for several years on the channel and in the coastwise trade. This latter vessel, bearing the name Santa Rosa Island, will be sold by Vail & Vickers interests, controlling the island property. Captain Johnson, who has been in command of the Santa Rosa Island schooner, is now on the Vaquero, which has recently been completed at the Banning shipyards. The Santa Rosa Island arrived here yesterday with a new master. She will sail this morning for San Miguel Island with Captain Waters and a party of herdsmen, who will round up several thousand sheep for shipment to this port...”


August 9, 1913 [SBMP]: “On her first voyage to Santa Barbara the gasoline schooner Vaquero owned by the Vail & Vickers Company, whose properties include Santa Rosa Island, was in port yesterday with a cargo of cement for local consignees. Last night the Vaquero sailed for Santa Rosa and San Miguel islands, having as passengers two of the Vail brothers who will spend a few days at Santa Rosa. Captain W. G. Waters also sailed with the Vaquero for San Miguel.”


August 9, 1913 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters, lessee of San Miguel Island, is moving about 1500 sheep from the island to market. Several cargoes have already been shipped to Los Angeles by way of San Pedro, and the Vaquero, the Santa Rosa Island Company’s new vessel, is at Cuyler’s Harbor, San Miguel Island today, for a further depletion of flocks.”


August 14, 1913 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters returned last evening from San Miguel island where he has been for the past few days attending to the herding of a number of sheep on the island for the market. Captain Waters made the trip in the new boat Vaquero, owned by Messrs. Vail & Vickers, owners of Santa Rosa Island. The cargo went to San Pedro, and the sheep were sold to Cudahy and Company. Captain Waters has been spending the greater part of the past month on the island.”


January 20, 1914 [SBMP]: “Rainfall at San Miguel Island during December measured 4.33 inches, according to reports just received by Captain W. G. Waters. Feed is in splendid condition.”


February 11, 1914 [SBDNI]: “Captain Vasquez of the launch Otter arrived here this morning from San Miguel Island where he witnessed the release of the British oil tanker Pectan from the sand bar. The vessel pulled herself from the bar without the aid of any of the vessels standing by, and proceeded north to have her hull thoroughly inspected before returning to Port San Luis for loading. Captain Vasquez reports that the feed on San Miguel is fast being buried beneath drifting sand. The once green island is now a white, bleak stretch of sand eight miles long and a mile and a half wide, with only a few green patches where the grass yet exists. Captain Waters of this city, with his brother John Waters, are on the island looking after the 3,000 sheep he has there. It is very likely the sheep will be removed. Captain Vasquez leaves tonight in the Otter to bring back Captain Waters and his brother to this city...”


February 12, 1914 [LAT]: “Captain Rosaline Vasquez of the launch Otter arrived here this morning from San Miguel Island, where he witnessed the release of the British oil tanker Pectan from the sand bar. The vessel pulled herself from the bar without the aid of any of the vessels standing by and proceeded north to have her hull thoroughly inspected before returning to Port San Luis for reloading. Captain Vasquez reports that the feed on San Miguel Island is being buried beneath the drifting sand. The once green island is now a white, bleak stretch of sand eight miles long and a mile and a half wide, with only a few green places where the grass as yet exists. Captain Waters of this city, with his brother, John Waters, are on the island looking after the 3000 sheep he has there. It is very likely the sheep will be removed. Captain Vasquez left tonight in the Otter to bring Captain Waters and his brother to this city.”


February 16, 1914 [SBDNI]: “Feed on the Channel Islands has never been better than at the present time. Stock is looking well and it will not be long before many carloads of beef and mutton will be ready for market from these island ranches. Captain Waters, who has just returned from San Miguel Island, which he controls, says that conditions on his island are ideal. He denies the report that the recent winds have done damage to the island. He says that the reverse is the condition there. Many acres that in former years had been covered with sand are now free from sand and that feed has covered it. In the many years that he has lived on the island feed has never been so plentiful.”


March 31, 1914 [SBDNI]: “Captain Waters has sent a crew of sheep shearers to San Miguel Island to shear his big band of sheep there. The crew set out yesterday morning in the Gussie M, but were forced to return on account of the high seas and wind.”


March 31, 1914 [SBMP]: “At 5 o’clock A.M. yesterday Captain Ira K. Eaton started in the Gussie M for San Miguel Island to take over a force of Captain Water’s sheep shearers. When the sturdy little boat had got about eight miles from shore, however, the water had become so rough, and with the prospects all in favor of worse conditions, that the captain thought it better to give up the journey for that day, so he turned around and pulled out for the mainland. Unless the wind and the tide conditions should again be unfavorable, the party will be taken to the island today.”


April 1, 1914 [SBMP]: “New commander. The engineer’s license of the powerboat, Gussie M, owned by Captain Eaton, has been transferred to Captain Al Chase, who has an unlimited license that enables him to take charge of the engine on a craft of any that is run by a gasoline engine or engines. Captain Chase’s first trip as master was the run yesterday to San Miguel Island, taking Captain Waters, his brother John, and a dozen sheep shearers who will start the semi-annual wool clip.”


April 13, 1914 [SBDNI]: “Captain W. G. Waters returned yesterday from San Miguel Island where he has been overseeing the shearing of his many sheep. The shearing is finished and as the feed on the island was never better the outlook for the summer is good. High winds have been blowing over the island during the past week and Mr. Waters reports that hundreds of tons of sand have been blown off the land into the sea.”


August 22, 1914 [PRP]: “The owner of San Miguel Island near Santa Barbara has recently purchased several thousand young carob trees, which will be grown with the expectation of securing much valuable feed for the large amounts of sheep which are maintained on the island.”


August 24, 1914 [SBDNI]: “Captain William G. Waters will leave Wednesday for an extended trip to the Atlantic coast. He will stop at Detroit and attend the G. A. R. encampment in that city. After the encampment, Captain Waters will continue on to Boston and points in Maine. On his return trip he will visit New York, Washington, Old Point Comfort, Chattanooga and continue home by way of New Orleans.”


November 6, 1914 [SBMP]: “This morning Captain Ira Eaton will take Captain Waters to San Miguel Island and from there he will proceed to Pismo Beach to get a party who will go out fishing for four days, after which Sea Wolf will return to San Miguel Island to bring Captain Waters back to the mainland.”


November 6, 1914 [SBDNI]: “Captain Waters left by the Sea Wolf for San Miguel Island. The Sea Wolf goes from the island to Pismo Beach for a fishing party, which will be out four days. It is expected Captain Waters will return next week.”


March 30, 1915 [SBDNI]: “It is sheep shearing time in San Miguel Island, and for the purpose of getting ready for the annual ‘hair cut,’ which is given the several thousand sheep on the island by their owners, the Waters brothers, a gang of a dozen or more men will leave here tomorrow in Captain Ira K. Eaton’s boat Sea Wolf. Captain W. G. Waters and his sheep shearers will be accompanied by John Waters, who last week celebrated his 90th birthday. Mr. Waters expects to do his share in helping his brother expedite the work. The shearing is a two weeks’ job. There are between 3000 and 4000 sheep on the island, which is government property, grazing privileges being leased by the Department of the Interior every year. Owing to the large amount of sand and dirt in the sheep wool, air-driven shearing machines cannot be used, so that the work has to be done with hand clippers. The distance from Santa Barbara to theisland is 43 miles, the island lying almost opposite Gaviota. San Miguel is above Santa Rosa Island, and cannot be seen from this city except on a clear day. It is seven miles ling and five wide. Captain Eaton’s boat makes the trip in four hours and a half. The captain will return tomorrow night. He said today the Sea Wolf has been chartered by parties for every day this week, and that indications are this summer’s business will be record-breaking.”


March 31, 1915 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters went to San Miguel Island yesterday on the Sea Wolf, taking over a number of sheep shearers for the annual shearing of his flock, which will commence within a week or so.”


April 3, 1915 [LAT]: “The shearing of 4000 sheep on San Miguel Island began today. The sheep belong to Captain W. G. Waters of this city, who leases the island from the government. Captain Waters states that this season’s crop will be unusually heavy and fine, and that prices are sure to remain high for wool of a good grade. The rains of the season have been right for a heavy pasturage, so that the sheep are in good condition. Demands for sheep from market men are heavy, but so far none have been sold.”


April 9, 1915 [SBMP]: “Captain Eaton expects to return today, and to leave for San Miguel Island tomorrow morning with Captain Waters, who goes to look after his sheep shearing operation there.”


May 27, 1915 [SBDNI]: “Captain W. G. Waters is staying at Jonathan Club at Los Angeles for a visit of two weeks. He expects to go from there to San Miguel Island before returning home. “


June 1, 1915 [SBMP]: “Vail & Vickers power schooner Vaquero is at Cuyler's Harbor, San Miguel Island, loading wool for Captain Waters.”


June 1, 1915 [SBDNI]: “Taking on a cargo of wool after Captain Waters at Cuyler’s Harbor, San Miguel Island, the Vail and Vickers’ power schooner Vaquero is at the island loading this year’s wool crop from the several thousand sheep there.”


September 8, 1915 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira K. Eaton will take Captain Waters to San Miguel Island today for an inspection by the latter of his sheep range on the island, and a general looking into his affairs there.”


March 21, 1916 [SBDP]: “Captain W. G. Waters will leave for the islands in the next two weeks to take over a crew of sheep shearers. The annual shearing will begin April 1. It is said that the herds have prospered, and a very good crop of wool is expected.”


March 31, 1916 [SBDN]: “Captain W. G. Waters left this morning for his ranch at San Miguel Island to superintend the shearing of the sheep there. He took with him fourteen men to do the work.”


May 2, 1916 [SBMP]: “Yesterday afternoon Captain Ira K. Eaton came over from San Miguel Island in the Sea Wolf, bringing Captain Waters and a force of sheep shearers who have been working there for several weeks making the spring clip. Captain Eaton returned to Pelican Bay a few days later to hunt for seals for Captain George M. McGuire, his order being twenty seals.”


May 5, 1916 [SBMP]: “Waters meets fusillade of ammonia. Strange attack made by laundryman who is looking for his wife. H. D. Trader, a Los Angeles laundryman, came to town yesterday morning, heavily armed, in search of his wife, with whom he recently had a quarrel, with the result of her leaving him. Mr. Trader heard that his wife had found a place in the home of Captain W. G. Waters, at 215 East Victoria Street, and there he went straightaway after landing at the local passenger station… Mrs. Trader is the daughter of Mrs. Russell, who with her husband, has been employed for the past six years on Captain Waters’ ranch on San Miguel Island…”


May 5, 1916 [SBDP]: “J. B. Trader, Los Angeles laundryman, who yesterday made a vicious attack on Captain W. G. Waters, was sent to the county jail this morning by Police Judge E. A. Rizor to serve six months, the maximum punishment possible under the charge preferred. He was charged with brandishing a deadly weapon. Trader sent word to Captain Waters by Chief of Police Ross that he wanted to apologize for his misconduct. The prisoner states that he cannot remember the details of his attack. ‘I was beside myself with mental anguish over my family troubles. My wife had left me, and I became blind with fury,’ said Trader. This morning members of the Waters family found in a clothesbasket an iron bar, wrapped in newspapers, which Trader had added to his armament. The prisoner fails to recollect having had the bar. He says he has only a jumbled recollection that he wanted to avenge himself for his wife’s desertion. ‘When this man called at the house and asked for his wife, I told him we knew nothing of her,’ said Captain Waters. ‘I invited him into the house to search for himself, to satisfy his own mind. He replied that we had laid a trap to get him into the house. My brother John appeared then, and this seemed to further arouse the man’s fears. He was very boisterous, and was threatening with what looked like a roll of newspapers. He suddenly drew a squirt-gun. I realized what coming and dodged the stream of fluid. I then slipped away and secured my automobile. This I had pointed toward him as he covered me with his revolver. I knew that before he could pull back the hammer of his gun to fire, I could have killed him with my automobile, and I had decided that the moment he put any pressure on the trigger to raise it I would have.’ When Chief Ross arrived, the chief offered to accompany Trader through the house hunting the missing wife, and the two were given full sway by Captain Waters and his family. As they moved about in the rooms upstairs, Trader managed to toss the iron bar into a basket, and this morning it was brought to the police station by Captain Waters. In the house at the time was W. G. Freeman, who had superintended the shearing of the sheep owned by Captain Waters on San Miguel Island. He also saw Trader swinging the paper roll, and at the time believed that the papers were merely wrapped about some heavy weapon, for the roll remained perfectly stiff and unyielding as it was swung about. Captain Waters never met Trader before, and had only once met his wife. Her whereabouts continues to be a mystery. Chief of Police Ross states that only the absolute self-possession and coolness of Captain Waters and his brother, John, prevented a killing.”


May 5, 1916 [LAT]: “H. B. Trader, said to be a Los Angeles laundryman, attached Captain William G. Waters of this city this afternoon with an ammonia squirt gun and a .45 caliber revolver. Trader attempted to storm the Waters home to find his missing wife, whom he believed had sought asylum with the Waters family. Chief of Police James Ross arrived on the scene as the desperate husband leveled a revolver at Captain Waters, who stood, groping blindly in his doorway, from the effects of ammonia. Seeing the Chief, Trader turned his gun toward the officer. In the struggle which followed the revolver was wrested from Trader before he had a chance to pull the trigger. When searched he was found to be wearing a belt filled with cartridges. His revolver was fully loaded and besides he held a bottle filled with concentrated ammonia. Captain Waters escaped without serious injury, having closed his eyes involuntarily as the contents of the squirt gun struck him full in the face. He owns San Miguel Island, off this coast, where he has thousands of sheep. The mother of Mrs. Trader works as cook for the sheep crew on the island, and it was this fact that led Trader to suppose possibly Mrs. Trader had sought aid from Captain Waters and his family after leaving her Los Angeles home. Her whereabouts are unknown, the Waters family having no knowledge of her. Trader was locked up and booked on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon.”


May 6, 1916 [SBMP]: “Ammonia gun man given six months. H. B. Trader will have long period to reflect over attack on Captain Waters. In the police court yesterday morning, H. B. Trader, the Los Angeles laundry worker who fired an ammonia gun at the face of Captain W. G. Waters at the latter’s residence on East Victoria Street last Thursday, missing his mark through the agile-stepping of his intended victim, and then covered the captain with a ferocious looking revolver, had his accounting at the hands of the law… All the defense could say to court in extenuation of his violent conduct was that he had a row with his wife; that she had left him, and that he was told that she had found a place in the home of Captain Waters, and that he had determined to compel her to return to him, even if he had to ‘do up’ anyone who stood in his way… Captain Waters came through the episode of the irate husband’s bluff with no harm except to his usual serenity…”


July 2, 1916 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters shipped 1500 sheep from his range on San Miguel Island yesterday to Los Angeles by the power schooner Vaquero.”


July 12, 1916 [SBMP]: “Last evening Vail & Vickers power schooner, the Vaquero, came over from San Miguel Island with 90 bags of wool from Captain W. G. Waters’ ranch.”


August 23, 1916 [SBMP]: “John Russell, superintendent of Captain W. G. Waters’ ranch on San Miguel Island, had the misfortune a few days ago, to be kicked in the breast by a mule...”


September 17, 1916 [SBMP]: “Captain W. G. Waters went to San Miguel Island in the Sea Wolf yesterday morning, accompanied by Mr. [Charles] Howland, president of the San Clemente Wool Company of San Clemente Island, and superintendent and Mrs. Russell, whose home is on San Miguel Island. Captain Waters and Mr. Howland expect to return to the mainland next Tuesday.”


September 18, 1916 [SBDN]: “Captain W. G. Waters left in the Sea Wolf for San Miguel Island Saturday, accompanied by Mr. Howland, president of San Clemente Island, and superintendent and Mrs. Russell, of San Miguel Island. Captain Waters and Mr. Howland will return to Santa Barbara tomorrow.”


September 25, 1916 [SBDN]: “Another five-year lease on San Miguel Island has been secured by Captain Waters who has for 29 years been in possession of this big Channel Island. For twenty-five years Captain Waters lived on San Miguel Island without anyone questioning his right to the possession of the land. He then secured a government lease to the island for five years. This first lease expires November 1, and the Captain has just secured its renewal until November 1921. ‘I believe if I was a younger man and had more time to worry about legal matters I could secure a title to San Miguel Island,’ said Captain Waters this morning. ‘THe fact that I lived on the island for twenty-five years without anyone questioning my right and that I built a home and other buildings there would, I think, be accepted in the federal courts as proof of my title to the property.’ In the early days of his island experience, Captain Waters used sailboats to make his trips to and from the island. He lost three of these sailing craft and lost one man overboard before he finally adopted the gasoline launch. Since then he has made his visits to the island without accident. Recently Captain Waters has erected a fine eight-room house on the island. The building has running water in every room and compares favorably with any city dwelling in the number and quality of its conveniences. There is also a fine sheep shearing shed on the island. Captain Waters does not know how many sheep he has. They wander freely over the island in large bands and are rounded up for shearing and killing, but the roundups are never complete and it would be almost impossible to find out the full number of the combined flocks. Several attempts have been made to grow crops on San Miguel, but the heavy winds for which the island is famous always knocks down the crop before it is mature or bury it with sand. Sand drifts worse than snow on many parts of the island and often changes the entire appearance of the landscape over night. At present John Russell and his wife are taking charge of the island for Captain Waters. Mr. Russell has been in the employ of Captain Waters for ten years.”


February 11, 1917 [SBMP]: “Mrs. Minerva Hunt has sold to Captain W. G. Waters, the old home at Santa Barbara and Victoria streets. It is bought as an investment, the deal having been negotiated by George W. McComber. This property has been owned by the Hunt family for more than forty years.”


February 21, 1917 [SBMP]: “Captain Ira K. Eaton, who came over from the islands in the Sea Wolf with a load of fish last Monday night, started away the following morning with a band of sheep shearers who are just about to start on the spring clip for Captain Waters' flock on San Miguel Island. There are about 3500 sheep there, and the work will take from three to four weeks.”


April 25, 1917 [SBDN]: “Captain W. G. Waters, a pioneer resident of Santa Barbara and for the past twenty-five years the lessee from the United States government of San Miguel Island, is dying. Last night at the St. Francis hospital he suffered a hemorrhage of the brain, which paralyzed the left side of his body. He was stricken about April 1 with a general breakdown brought on by old age. He gradually failed and his removal to the hospital was ordered by Dr. C. S. Stoddard on last Monday. Dr. Stoddard, the attending physician, this afternoon said the strength and vitality of his patient was slowly ebbing away and that death was but a matter of hours. For two years Captain Waters, who was one of the best known men in Santa Barbara, has been in failing health, but he had fought off the break down until early this morning when his weakened condition caused his confinement to his home at 215 East Victoria Street. Captain Waters has been a resident of Santa Barbara for more than 35 years and during the major part of that time has been in control of San Miguel Island, where he owned a sheep ranch. A short time ago he disposed of his interests there. He served through the Civil War in a Massachusetts regiment and became an officer. He is a member of the local post of the G.A.R. and has been prominent in its activities. Captain Waters is 79 years old. He has been married twice, his second wife dying about 30 years ago. He has one son living in Santa Barbara, C. B. Waters.”


April 26, 1917 [SBMP]: “Captain Waters suffers breakdown. Great regret is felt in this community over the fact that Captain W. G. Waters, a pioneer resident of Santa Barbara and for twenty-five years past the lessee of San Miguel Island from the government, is at the St. Francis hospital, lying at death's door. Early in the month Captain Waters suffered a general breakdown, under the pressure of advanced age. He failed gradually, and last Monday, by order of his physician, Dr. C. S. Stoddard, he was removed from his residence to the hospital. His decline has continued steadily, and his physician declares that the end is not far away — probably a matter of only hours. Captain Waters has lived in Santa Barbara 35 years. He served throughout the Civil War in a Massachusetts regiment, and is an honored member of the local G. A. R. Post. He is aged 79, and has been married twice. A son, C. B. Waters, is a resident of Oak Park.”


April 27, 1917 [SBMP]: “Captain William G. Waters' battle for life ended at St. Francis Hospital at 8 o'clock last evening, when he passed away quietly... Previous to coming here he had left Boston to set up the first perfecting printing press ever used on this coast, and purchased for the San Francisco Call. He installed the press and ran it for several years... He was one of the founders of the Jonathan Club of Los Angeles... The deceased is survived by his son, Charles D. Waters of this city, and a brother, John A. Waters of Boston. Captain Waters had for 30 years occupied San Miguel Island, leased from the government and used as a sheep range, wool growing being his principal life work. In this he operated quite extensively, his flocks at times numbering up to 25,000 head of sheep.”


April 27, 1917 [SBDN]: “Scores of old friends and acquaintances of Captain William G. Waters, who died at the St. Francis hospital Thursday evening, attended his funeral Saturday afternoon at L. E. Gagnier’s funeral church. The services were in charge of the Starr King post of the Grand Army of the Republic of which Captain Waters was an active member. The ritualistic services were in charge of Frank Guernsey, commander; Wallace Bailey, acting sdjunct; and R. S. Greene, quartermaster. The honorary pall-bearers were: W. D. Walker, R. S. Green, C. C. Hunt, P. L. Moore, I. B. Hardy, and Wallace Bailey. The body was taken to Los Angeles for cremation.”


April 30, 1917 [SBDN]: “The funeral of Captain William G. Waters, who died at the St. Francis hospital last night after an illness of nearly a month, will be held at 2:30 o’clock tomorrow afternoon from L. E. Gagnier’s funeral church. The services will be in charge of Starr King Post No. 52, Grand Army of the Republic, in compliance with the request of Captain Waters. The body will be cremated. Since suffering paralysis as the result of a hemorrhage of the brain Wednesday night, Captain Waters had been in critical condition and death was expected at any hour. He has been in failing health for two years but was taken ill about April 1. Captain Waters was 79 years old and had lived in Santa Barbara about 35 years. He was a native of Maine and served through the Civil War as member of a Massachusetts regiment. Before coming to Santa Barbara he had left Boston to install the first perfecting printing press on the Pacific coast. The press had been purchased by the San Francisco Call and was in charge of Captain Waters. As a veteran he was prominent in the activities of the G.A.R. and served a term as commander of the California and Nevada department. He was one of the founders of the Santa Barbara Club, and was a member of the Jonathan Club of Los Angeles, Knights Templar and a Thirty-second degree Mason. For 30 years Captain Waters leased San Miguel Island from the United States government. He operated a sheep ranch on which his flocks often reached as high as 25,000 animals. He is survived by a son, Charles D. Waters of Santa Barbara and a brother, John A. Waters of Boston.”


May 11, 1917 [SBMP]: “The Santa Barbara Trust Company, through attorney Wm. G. Griffith, yesterday offered the will of Captain William G. Waters for probate. The late veteran and former lessee of San Miguel Island leaves an estate estimated to be worth nearly $50,000, the bulk of which goes to his brother, John A. Waters, of Boston. The latter is 92 years of age, and is now in Santa Barbara in connection with the settlement of the estate. An adopted daughter, Mrs. Edith S. Burritt, residing at Santa Monica, is bequeathed $1. Substantial bequests are made to his son, C. D. Waters, and to Mrs. C. D. Waters. Mrs. M. A. Cummings of this city, and Lucy A. Fetcher of Los Angeles are also remembered by $1000 and $500, respectively. The will is holographic.”


May 11, 1917 [SBDN]: “The bulk of the $50,000 estate of Captain William G. Waters is left to his brother, John A. Waters of Boston, under the terms of the will filed for probate yesterday by Attorney W. G. Griffith for the Santa Barbara Trust Company. Substantial bequests are made to the son, C. D. Waters, and to Mrs. C. D. Waters, Mrs. M. A. Cummings of this city and Lucy A. Fletcher of Los Angeles. John A. Waters, the principal beneficiary, is 92 years of age. He is in Santa Barbara in connection with the settlement of the estate. Mrs. Edith S. Burritt, an adopted daughter residing at Santa Monica, is bequeathed $1.”


May 29, 1917 [SBMP]: “Hints of a pending contest of the will of the late Captain William G. Waters were dropped yesterday in the Superior Court by attorneys representing Mrs. Edith S. Burritt of Santa Monica, an adopted daughter... Edith Waters was at one time quite prominent in operatic circles on the coast, following a somewhat spectacular escape from San Miguel Island, her father's property, on which she made her home for a number of years...”


October 2, 1917 [SBMP]: “This morning at 10 o'clock a jury of good and lawful men sitting in the superior court will hold a hearing on the petition for admitting the will of William G. Waters, deceased, to probate, also the protest which has been filed against this action...”


October 3, 1917 [SBMP]: “Edith Scott Burritt, plaintiff and contestant in the matter of admitting the will of William G. Waters, deceased, to probate, was on the witness stand in Judge Crow's court... relating her experiences and the treatment accorded her while for thirteen months she was employed by Captain Waters on San Miguel Island doing cooking and housework for him... The hearing will be resumed at 10 o'clock.”


December 11, 1917 [SBMP]: “William G. Waters will contest is on today. Contest of Edith Scott Burritt of the will of Capt. William G. Waters, deceased, begins before a jury in the superior court this morning, then 35 jurymen have been summoned to appear. The case is officially entitled Edith Scott Burritt vs. the Santa Barbara Trust Company. The previous hearing, started several weeks ago, was called off after Judge Crow had found he was disqualified from hearing the case. Governor Stephens has appointed Superior Judge John L. Hudner of San Benito to sit in the local court during the hearing of this case, which is expected to last all week. The deposition of George S. Sargent, a witness in the case, as taken before Hortense Gardner, notary public of San Francisco, was filed with the clerk yesterday. The 35 jurymen summoned to appear in the courtroom at 10 o'clock this morning were the following: Benj. R. Lloyd; F. B. Clark; Colin H. McIssac; Geo. H. Pensinger; E. Van Valkenburg; W. A. Ferguson; Geo. H. Adams; Wm. C. Smith; O. L. Unkerfer; Nathan S. Raime; J. E. Doty; Wm. Mead; Alonso V. Buell; A. B. Cadwell; A. J. Abraham; D. O. Kelly; F. B. Moore; E. J. Moody; F. H. Smith; J. C. Lend; D. M. Hammond; John P. Arrouqi; Curtis E. Bolton; Zee A. Lear; M. Slaughter; Homer Whitney; Warren McNeil; Francis F. Eastman; J. D. Fuller; R. G. Fernald; Frank L. Roemer; Wm. A. Hendry; Herman J. Ranch; Alfred Edwards; Charles M Carenga.”


May 6, 1918 [SBMP]: “The contest over the will of the late William G. Waters, pioneer of the town and owner of San [Miguel] Island, will be called for trial before a jury in the superior court Tuesday morning. A venire of 40 tailsmen has been summoned from whom to secure 12 jurymen. This will be the second trial of the contest, which is brought by an adopted daughter. On the first trial, which continued several weeks, the jury disagreed, and efforts to reach a copmromise failed. Under Captain Waters’ will he left his entire estate in trust for a brother, a man over 89 years old, who resides in Boston. At the trial of the case some months ago the attorneys defending the will made the point that the late Captain Waters had made a final settlement with his adopted daughter several years ago, and that they had been estranged for years. The trial of the case brings to Santa Barbara many old timers, among them Bob Ord, many years ago employed by the Waters family, and for years a mining man in Mexico, about whom clings the romance of many exciting adventures in the land of revolutions. It is expected that at least two weeks will be consumed in trying the case.”


May 10, 1918 [LAT/SB]: “In an effort to break the will of the late Captain W. G. Waters, who left his $50,000 estate to his brother, John A. Waters, 92, of Boston, Mrs. Edith Burritt of Santa Monica, adopted daughter of the deceased, told an exciting story from the witness stand today of her escape from San Miguel Island in an open boat, mastered by Bob Ord, now a mining man of Mexico. She was a girl of 16 then, and had lived for four years on the desolate island, where her adopted father raised sheep and cattle. These years were punctuated by happy days when the girl visited the mainland, but they were few and far between. A wild sea was running when Bob Ord assisted the child into the small boat, and the hours of battling against the storm before the mainland was reached, though thrilling, had no terror for the frail gorl. Dead ibn the sea was a better condition than alive on a desolate, windswept island. During the day many old-time sheep shearers, fishermen and water-front men testified to corroborate the contestant, as to island conditions and to the treatment of the girl by her adopted father. The testimony of the day was unusual its recital of the days of 1887 and of that period, the contestant seeking to show that Captain Waters was insane on the one subject of the adopted daughter and his son, Charles Waters. To the son he left the interest on $5000, and he stipulated in the will that if his brother John, or his sister Mrs. Maria Curtis, died before him that his wealth should go to building a soldiers’ monument here, and to the Cottage and St. Francis hospitals.”


May 14, 1918 [LAT/SB]: “Waters’s will declared void. The will of Captain W. G. Waters, owner of San Miguel Island, was broken tonight by a jury in the Superior Court. The jury returned a verdict holding that the time the will was drawn by the testator the latter was of unsound mind so far as his children — Mrs. Edith Scott Burritt of Santa Monica and Charled D. Waters of this city — were concerned. The verdict was reached on the second ballot and within ten minutes after Judge John L. Hudner gave he case to the jury. Immediately after the jury was discharged the jurers crowded about Mrs. Burritt, the contestant, and shook her hand. John A. Waters, 93, brother, to whom Waters left his $75,000 estate, also congratulated Mrs. Burritt. John Waters had come from Boston to defend the will, but stated that he really did not wish his dead brother’s estate. He himself is worth over $250,000. When Captain W. G. Waters, who died here last year, wrote into his will that his daughter, Edith Scott Waters-Burritt of Santa Monica, should inherit but $1 from his estate, laid the foundation for probably the most spectacular will contest the Santa Barbara courts have ever known. All the unusual incidents of Mrs. Burritt’s unusual girlhood were brought out in bold relief in the testimony. Four years spent on lonely San Miguel Island, thirty miles off the Santa Barbara coast, she termed as four years of prison. Her escape across the channel in a boat mastered by Bob Ord, now a Mexican mining man, was one of the most thrilling chapters. Captain Waters was divorced from his first wife inBoston forty years ago and, coming West, married a wealthy Mrs. Scott of San Francisco. With her wealth San Miguel Island, one of the Santa Barbara’ group, was bought, and there Captain Waters waxed rich, raising sheep, cattle and hogs. Mrs. Scott’s daughter, Edith, was adopted by him, and when the mother died her education in music, art and drama was brought to a close. ‘When we arrived at the island after mother’s death I was told that was to be my home.’ The captain took me into the kitchen. ‘There’s the stove, there’s the sink, there’s the utensils. Get us something to eat,’ he said. ‘I had never cooked in my life before, but I did the best I could. There was an old Mexican who taught me how to make bread. God bless his dear memory. He was so kind to a motherless, friendless girl.’ The witness paused, and then reverted to her mother’s funeral. ‘I asked the captain for money with which to buy suitable mourning. He told me to use my mother’s black skirt and I made a dress to wear at her funeral.’ The spectators leaned forward and one woman sobbed, while R. H. Cross, one of her lawyers, laid the emphasis on the statement with: ‘So you wore your mother’s dress to her funeral.’ On the island, for a time, was a woman companion, but she left and the girl found no means of companionship except with the sheep and cattle. Alone she would rove along the rocky island shore searching for shells. The herders would do what they could for her when the captain was not about. ‘Captain Waters would not let me continue my schooling for fear I might meet a boy; my music lessons had to be given up because my teacher had a young son, and I was dragged home from a church concert where I was to sing because the captain found that I had been placed near a man, a singer. He seemed insane on the subject of boys and me, and for that reason I was taken to the island.’ The girl had appealed to fishermen who occasionally stopped on the island to take her to the mainland, but for fear of the captain they refused. Then Bob Ord, hunting sea otters, established a camp on the east end of San Miguel, and when the girl appeared one night in his camp with the wild request for aid in escaping, he was so struck with her pathetic attitude that he volunteered. That morning, before light, he set out with the fleeing captive, and an angry ride, at times lulled by a dead calm, featured the escape. When Charles D. Waters was 13, he first saw his father after separation since infancy. Five years later, at Captain Waters’s insistence, the son came to Santa Barbara from St. Paul, Minnesota, to learn the cattle business on San Miguel Island. Suddenly, testified the son, his father’s affection for him fled, and they parted. The old ties were never wholly repaired.”