Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Obituary

Submitted by Gary Carlson ~ June 20, 2007

Peninsula Daily Herald
Tuesday March 6, 1923

Vasquez Death Ends Eventful Life
Last Old-Time Vaquero Of County
Quite Active Until One-Year Ago

The death of Esperdion Vasquez at his home 732 Abrego Street last Sunday morning marks the passing of one of Monterey's old time vaquero's, those picturesque riders for whom this county was once famous. Ever since the days of the great ranchos, Mr. Vasquez has been a notable figure among the cattlemen. He was known the length of the Salinas and Carmel valleys, and through the Santa Lucia hills as far south as San Simeon, as a remarkable man in the saddle, skillful with the riata, and owning a thorough knowledge of cattle.

Esperdion Vasquez was born in Monterey, December 14, 1846. He was reared here in the old town and spent his youth as a vaquero in this end of the county. Later on in the seventies when Miller & Lux were moving enormous herds up and down the San Joaquin valley, he was in the employ of that firm mostly as a shipper. In 1878 he was foreman of the Tularcitos rancho under A. G. Oughaltree. He was foreman of the San Franisquito ranch while Bradley Sargent Sr. was owner of the Cooper ranch down the coast, and again during recent years of the San Francisquito for Russell Brothers. He was always spoken of by the different employers as one absolutely faithful to their interests. His shill in handling cattle and his knowledge in their ways brought more than one herd through dry seasons in good shape.

In spite of his advanced age Mr. Vasquez was, up to one year ago, a fine figure in the saddle, able to out ride most younger men and outdo them with the riata. But during the last twelve months the hard life and the long hours began to tell on him. He ceased to so active. However he still rode back and forth to the hills, and on the morning of his death he had saddled up a horse to make a trip up the Carmen valley.

Monterey has changed greatly of late, but there are many residents who can remember the splendid days of the cattle industry in this section, when one could see any number of fine horses on Alvarado street on a sunny afternoon; and when large herds were being driven to the shipping pens every summer; the days when there were many good riders going back and forth over the Carmel hill. Of those riders few are left, and anyone of those will tell you there was no better vaquero in the country; none who had more knowledge of cattle, and none who owned more friends than Esperdion Vasquez. His life bridged the change of periods from the old Spanish days, through the picturesque years of the early American occupation down to the present when the horses have almost vanished.

Mr. Vasquez is survived by his widow; three sisters; Mrs. A Torres, Mrs. Mike Noon, and Mrs. Dan Poland; four children Mrs. Charles Fancher, Mrs. Mary Pate, Tony and David Vasquez; and one adopted child T. Crawford.

The funeral will be held tomorrow Wednesday morning at 9:30 o'clock at the family residence 732 Abrego street, and will be attended by many of the older residents and notable stockmen of the county.