AKA: Wilson, Don Benito, Adobe, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA; Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, Los Angeles Infirmary/Orphanage/School #1, Downtown, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA

Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: [unspecified]

Dates: [unspecified]

Alameda Street and Macy Street
Downtown, Los Angeles, CA 90012-2830

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314 North Main Street?

Benjamin Davis Wilson (12/01/1811-03/11/1878) had been born in Nashville, TN, and traveled West to trap beaver in CO and NM as a young man. He came to CA from NM in 1841, one of the twenty members of the Rowland-Workman Party. At first, he made several San Francisco from Southern CA, hoping to catch a clipper ship to China. He failed three times to secure passage and chose to settle in Riverside County. In 1843, he purchased 6,750 acres of the 40,569-acre Rancho Jurupa, owned by the Peruvian-born Juan Bandini (1800–1859), who had been given a Mexican land grant for it in 1838. Wilson raised cattle on the property, but had difficulties safeguarding his herd and other property from local marauders. He became fed up with the headaches of defending his homestead and decided to move to more "civilized" territory, closer to the Pueblo of Los Angeles. At various times, he purchased large tracts in what became Pasadena, San Gabriel, Westwood and the port community of Wilmington. In the Pueblo of Los Angeles, he built a one-story adobe mercantile store and residence on the corner of Alameda and Macy Streets. "Don Benito" Wilson played a key role in multiple military skirmishes with Indian tribes and the Mexican Army, and served in many political positions during his life, including holding office as the second Mayor of Los Angeles between 05/07/1851–05/04/1852. Four years after the end of his term on 01/06/1856., the first six sisters of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, headquartered in Emmitsburg, MD, arrived in Los Angeles, CA, to do charitable work. They were given Wilson's adobe, and began to do perform needed public services there; in its first two years, 1856-1858, the Wilson Adobe became the site of the city's first school, orphanage and hospital. Its use as a hospital ended in 1858, when the nearby house of Don Cristobal Aguilar was made available for use as the Daughters' first dedicated hospital building.

Wilson's house stood on land later occupied by Los Angeles Union Station at 800 North Alameda Street.

PCAD id: 14676