Santee Street

Named in 1886 for L.A. councilman Milton Santee (1835-1901). Born in PA, Santee moved to Dixon, IL with his family in his teens. There he entered the surveying trade – there’s a Santee Street in the village of Prairieville, IL – married his first wife Julia, and had his only child Homer (1864-1910). After serving in the Civil War, Santee took his wife and son to Rolla, MO. It appears he then ran off with the family’s housekeeper Kate; they married in Santa Barbara in 1873, days after their arrival in California, but had divorced by 1880. Santee plied his vocation and invested in mines all over the state before settling in Los Angeles in 1883. He was elected to City Council the following year and served two terms. As soon as he left office, Santee moved to San Diego, where he pursued the usual late 19th century capitalist interests: railroads, mining, town-building, etc. In 1890, he married Jennie Blodgett Cowles (1838-1912), who had inherited some 4,000 acres of farmland from her late husband. She lobbied the San Diego suburb of Cowleston to change its name to “Santee” in 1893, and Santee it remains.