De Celis Place

Eulogio de Celis (?-1869) was a Spaniard who came to California c. 1836. Little is known about him, but he was evidently a wealthy man: In 1846, he gave Pío Pico, then-governor of Alta California, either $14,000 or $60,000 (reports vary) to fund Mexican troops during the Mexican–American War; in return, Pico gave de Celis the 116,858 acre Rancho Ex-Mission San Fernando – Pico’s brother Andrés was already leasing the land, and would later buy half of it from de Celis – which made up nearly the entire San Fernando Valley, save for the ranchos Los Encinos and El Escorpión. De Celis would also own a hotel and a vineyard in DTLA, but he moved back to Spain c. 1854 and died in Bilbao. His widow Josefa and sons Eulogio Fidencio, Pastor, and José Miguel then returned to Los Angeles to oversee the family’s holdings. (Eulogio F. also served on City Council and edited L.A.’s Spanish language newspaper La Crónica with Pastor.) They sold the northern half of the Valley to Charles Maclay in 1874; Pío Pico eventually acquired his brother’s southern half, then sold it to Isaac Lankershim in 1869. The de Celis name was remembered by later Valley developers: this street was christened in 1911.