Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


A progressively enterprising merchant who has done much to make Felton, Santa Cruz county, a very desirable place for a home, is Joseph Frank Rodriguez, popular alike with child and adult. He was born in the historic old town of Monterey, June 22, 1848, the son of Antone and Dolores (Gulinda) Rodriguez. The father was a native Californian, who was born at San Antonio Mission. Our subject's paternal ancestors lived under three flags. His mother's parents, also, came from Spain to San Francisco, when it was a mere village, and they were married in the Bay City. An aunt of our subject died in Napa county at the age of one hundred and fifteen. Mr. and Mrs. Rodriguez were the owners of the Rancho San Vicente, but they were afterwards cheated out of the ranch to the lasting dishonor of the arch swindlers.

Joseph Frank Rodriguez attended the public schools of Monterey and Santa Cruz and also the Castroville school and then he learned the carpenter's trade, at which he worked for five years. He next learned the barber's trade at Castroville, and on becoming a journeyman barber, he removed, on April 26, 1866, to Felton, since which time, or for fifty-nine years, he has been shaving good folks, so that he is now probably the oldest barber in the state. He conducts an ice-cream parlor next to his barbsr shop, and in over fifty years has never had a day of vacation. He is fond of prospecting and has implicit faith in Santa Cruz county. In politics he is a republican.

Antone Rodriguez was the last man to leave the Presidio when it was captured by the American troops; and he once owned the present site of the Santa Cruz Portland Cement works here but when he went to the government land office to prove his patent before the American officers, he signed a deed when he thought that he was signing an ordinary statement. Sad to relate, this was not the first nor probably the last instance in which some took an unfair advantage of those who had first spied out the land; and the only satisfaction is that with such a downfall the family honor at least was not lost.

Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California's history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925, 890 pgs.