Facts and Events
Benjamin Davis Wilson (December 1, 1811 – March 11, 1878) was a California statesman and politician. He was known to the Native Americans as Don Benito because of his benevolent manner in his treatment of Indian affairs. Wilson, a native of Tennessee, was a fur trapper and trader before coming to California.
Detained in Southern California while attempting to obtain passage to China, Wilson decided to remain there. He married Ramona Yorba, daughter of Bernardo Yorba, a wealthy and prominent landowner, and purchased part of Rancho Jurupa in what would become Riverside County. Wilson was made Justice of the Peace for the Inland Territory and was entrusted with the care of Indian affairs. He was also commissioned to deal with the hostile Ute tribe over their cattle rustling and other crimes against the ranchers. His marriage to his second wife, Margaret Hereford produced a daughter Ruth who would later be mother to General George S. Patton Jr. commander of U.S. and allied forces during World War II.
Wilson became the first non-Hispanic owner of Rancho San Pascual, which encompassed today's towns of Pasadena, Altadena, South Pasadena, Alhambra, San Marino and San Gabriel. Wilson was the second elected Mayor of Los Angeles for one term, Los Angeles County Supervisor and served three terms as a California State Senator.