January 17, 1934

Romolo Bonifacio Garcia, photo 1943

Gentlemen, friends and relatives, and general public.

This is the story of my life.

I was born along the Merced River a little south of a little Vilage call Snelling, in an adobe house in 1866, June the 5th. Al the time we lived there, my Father was ingaged in Farming there, and growing such as corn beans potatoes sweet potatoes. My Father used to haul all his truck vegetables on pack mules to the Gold mineing camps at Hornitos and all those mineing camps up there, our trading point then, being the town of Snelling, of which I think is still there yet. Father also had horses and cattle roming on the plains.

I can recall one time, of corse I don’t remember what time of year it was, but lot of the men use to come down there to our place, out a ways stood an old barn an a tree stood by, these men were all miners, and they all had money, and they would spred a blanket on the ground floore in this barn and they would have a stack of half dollars and quarters stacked along side of each other, there was money in the center, and money all around, I must to bean about 3 and four years old, because we moved away from there, in the Fall 1870. but, any how, my mother use to make turn overs with punkin in side of them, and we call them enpanadas in Spanish and my mother would make lots of these enpanadas, and fill a basket full of them and cover it with a table cloth, and send me out to where the men were gambling, to sel these enpanadas to them. I knew nothing about giving them any change but they would ask me to give them 3 or 4 or 5 and they would give me 25 cents or 50 cents I would take the money I wouldent give them back any change, I use to sit around and watched them play and ho boy, that money use to catch my eyes but just as soon as the basket was empty I would pick up and run to the house and give mother all the money, and she would fill the basket up again and back I would go again, these men, each one of them had a sattle and blankets and horse an each layed around his equipment and sleep in that empty open barn for days. I don’t know what period of the time it was but my sisters were going to school and mother use to send me with lunch for them at noon and I use to go rite in to the school before the noon recess, and start talk, and the teacher would tel me no talking in school. I remember one of the times that I took lunch to school, the school house stood along the river bank, and as soon I took lunch in the school room, I ran out again and went down off the bank along side of the water to fish When school was let out, the kids all was looking for me and they found me along side a pound trying to catch fish, with a can in my hands.

My Father and Mother came to this country from mexico in 1856. there was a caravan of about 20 people. All rideing on horses and packing there stuff on mules our family consisting of Father an mother and three Sisters, the youngest , being a baby of a few months old, being carried on mother arms all the way along from mexico to California and it took them 3 months to get here. The other 2 little Sisters, they road on 2 rawhide baskets, each one sitting in a basket, the baskets being houng one on each side of the pack saddle on a mule, the mules all being tied together on one rope and being led by Father, while mother road on a horse and carried the baby Sister, and that was the way all the people that were in the caravan with Father and mother came from Mexico a cross the desert into the Southern part of State into the country and landed at Merced river North East of Merced City ….

Romolo Bonifacio Garcia

Born 5 July 1866 Snelling, Merced County, California

Died 14 may 1947 Salinas, Monterey County, California

The Garcia family left gold country in 1870 and traveled across the San Juaquin Valley to what is now San Benito County. There they held a homestead ranch until the early 1940’s near Priest Valley. Romolo continues his story by telling of the trip across the Valley, living and working at the New Idria Mine and raising his family in Fresno and Salinas. Romolo’s son, Raynaldo Garcia, transcribed his father’s Life Story in the 1970’s. Raynaldo is now age 90 and living in Texas.

Garcia Family

Joaquin Garcia 1826-1918

Maria Rivera Garcia 1826-1878

Guadalupe Garcia born Mexico 1853-?

Rosario Garcia born Mexico 1846-1906

Sara Garcia born Mexico 1857-1912

Trinidad Garcia born California 1862-?

Romolo Bonifacio Garcia born California 1866-1947

Alberto Garcia born California 1868-1954

Peter Garcia born California 1870-?

Alejandro Garcia born California 1872-1943

The family is found in the 1860 & 1870 Census records in Merced County, California and in the records of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Mariposa, Mariposa County, California

For more information about this family and their early days in California please contact:

Chancy Wooldridge, great-great-great granddaughter of Joaquin Garcia mschancy@yahoo.com

2003 Foothill Ranch, CA



Cferoben- Feb 2, 2003