Antonio Maria Ortega was born September, 1857, to Fernando Ortega and Maria Rita Alipas, who were the landowners of el Rancho Encino. In 1935, the Bureau of Indian Affairs acknowledged Antonio as a Tribal leader under the name of Jose Rosario. Just a few years before, John P. Harrington visited the San Fernando Mission to research the local natives. Harrington was referred to Antonio by many other Fernandenos, who claimed Antonio could fluently speak the Fernandeno (Tataviam) language. Harrington tried to interview Antonio unsuccessfully and was left only interviewing an informant who knew Antonio and other Fernandenos. The informant had learned some Fernandeno words and shared what he knew on the local tribes.

Antonio had worked for the Lopez family in Tejon and in San Fernando for Geronimo Lopez. When working for Geronimo Lopez he met his wife to be, Ysidora Garcia, who also worked for the Lopez family. Together they raised three sons and five daughters. In his later years he operated a small business, a candy stand on the corner of Coronel and Mission Boulevard in San Fernando.

Rancho Encino
Antonio’s mother, Maria Rita Alipas, inherited the land of el Rancho Encino from her grandfather, Tiburcio Cayo, and her father, Francisco Papabubaba, whom were the Indian landowners. Tiburico Cayo, originally from the village of Tapuu in Simi Valley, had received title of el Encino land in 1840 circa from the San Fernando Mission. Later his lands were recorded as a Mexican land grant. Francisco Papabubaba was born in the village of Tochonanga (Place of the Stones) in Newhall. Francisco married one of Tiburico Cayo daughter’s and lived at el Rancho Encino that was referred to as Sjútkanga (Place of the Oak tree).

In 1852, the City of Los Angeles and the last Governor of Mexican California, Pio Pico, affirmed the Rancho Encino land grant before the US Land Commission. They argued that the Indians of the San Fernando Mission (Fernandenos) were properly entitled to the lands of Rancho Encino. The US Court in October 1855 confirmed and recognized the Mexican land grant of 4460.73 acres granting the land to the Indians and part-owner Vincent del la Osa. Later del la Osa became full title owner of Rancho Encino and sold the lands to Eugene Garnier in 1869 for $9,000.

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