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Monday, August 2, 2010

Stanly Ranch - Part 5

Judge John Alexander Stanly was definitely a pioneer in winemaking in the Carneros region of the Napa Valley. Did he accomplish this on his own? Apparently not but he was the landowner, financier, and had the foresight and thought in this endeavor. Judge Stanly came to California in 1866 and inherited the Stanly Ranch property along with other land in Northern California from his uncle, Edward Stanly, in 1878. This is according to something that I found on the internet. Great sourcing isn't that? I missed the source of that information for some reason.

Some of what I have indicates that those dates make some sense. Edward died in 1872. Given that the Stanly's were attorneys, is it possible that it took 6 years for everything to pass from the estate of Edward Stanly to his nephew, Judge John A. Stanly? I'm not sure of the dates but I am sure of some letters that Michael received from a law office in San Francisco during that time. Anyway, the details of the estate, will, trust, or what ever happened back in the 1870s when someone with wealth died, doesn't completely matter since in the end the Stanly Ranch passed from one to another. It seems apparent to me that Michael dealt with both the Governor and the Judge, and so did Patrick Flanagan.

The Judge was born in 1833 in New Bern, North Carolina. He moved to Oakland, California, and worked in San Francisco. Both his residence and law office were with Edward Stanly, his uncle. I have other information that indicates that Rancho Rincon de los Carneros was deeded to the Judge by his uncle as early as 1871. The Spanish name comes from the previous owner, Higuerra. The Stanly's referred to their ranch as Riverdale.

Judge Stanly was married in Oakland, CA. His daughter is mentioned but no other children are indicated. His son-in-law was T.B. Coghill. The Judge's grandchildren are indicated as Edward, Stanly, and Bessie. I found this information in a book called "History of the New California", copyright 1903. This same book has the Judge dying in September 1897. The Flanagan Letters have been transcribed as indicating the Judge's death in September 1899. I'll have to check into the date of death difference more. The handwritten letter by Kate Flanagan to Michael could easily say 1897 but look like 1899. I'm not in posession of the original letters except a few copies.

When it comes to the Judge, I have a hard time finding information online about him. I wonder what he was like. I found information about his election to Judge in San Francisco and his resignation around 1874. I wonder why he resigned. I know that he collapsed at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in January 1897, according to Kate Flanagan's letter to Michael back in Ireland. Based on Kate's letters, it would appear that she was very intimidated by him. She did report a lot of information about the Judge to Michael in her letters to him in Ireland.

The Judge so wanted Michael Flanagan to come back to Napa to handle his property. Maybe Michael reminded him of or took the place of his son. I have yet to find the "official" story about the Judge's son but I am searching for it.

To be continued.......

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