Historic California People

Mural at Louis Market, Los Angeles, California by Chuy Vasquez

Mural at Louis Market, Los Angeles, California by Chuy Vasquez


John “Grizzly” Adams – Bear Hunter

John Hicks Adams – Sheriff and U.S. Deputy Marshal

Cyrus Alexander – Trapper and California Pioneer

Burton Alvord – Lawman Turned Outlaw

Anglin Brothers – Escaping From Alcatraz

Captain Juan Bautista de Anza II – Spanish Explorer

Pete Aguereberry

Pete Aguereberry

Pete Aguereberry – Mining Death Valley

Cyrus Alexander – Trapper and California Pioneer

James Barton – Los Angeles Sheriff Killed in the Line of Duty

Roy Bean – The Law West of the Pecos

James Pierson Beckwourth – Explorer and Mountain Man

Bum Blockade – Stopping the Depression Refugees

Charles “Black Bart” Bowles – Poet Outlaw

Francis Branch – Trader & Pioneer

William F. “Alkali Bill” Brong & the Death Valley Chug Line

Edward “Ned” Bushyhead – Cherokee Lawman

Cahuilla Tribe

California Vigilantes

Sebastiao Melendez Rodriguez Cermeno – Spanish Explorer

Chattel Hood to Freedom – Black Pioneers of California

The Chilean Crusade for El Dorado

Chumash Indians

Patsy Clark – Mining Magnate

William T. Coleman – Shipping to Borax

Fred Dodge – Undercover Detective

James Dayton – Death Valley Swamper

Coming of the Argonauts

James C. Earp – Lesser Known Older Brother

Morgan Earp – Killed in Tombstone, Arizona

Virgil Earp – Upholding the Law of the West

Death Valley Scotty

Death Valley Scotty

Wyatt Earp – Frontier Lawman

The Elusive Zodiac Killer

Esselen Tribe

Flores-Daniel Gang

Camillus Sidney Fly – Arizona Photographer and Lawman

Clark “Old Chieftain” Foss – Boisterous California Stage Driver

John C. Fremont – The Pathfinder

John Peter Gabriel – Lawman & Gunfighter

John Gantt – Soldier & Mountain Man

Francisco Tomas Hermenegildo Garces – Franciscan Priest

Outlaw Roy Gardner’s Loot

Joseph Goff Gale – Pioneer & Politician

Henry Garfias – 1st Marshal of Phoenix

Sam Gay – The Sagebrush Sheriff

George “Baldy” Green – A Popular Stage Driver

Harlots of the Barbary Coast

John L. Hatcher – Frontiersman

John Coffee Hays – Soldier and Texas Ranger

George Hearst – Father of a Mining & Publishing Empire

Valentine “Rube” Herring – Trapper to County Officer

Dr. Thomas J. Hodges – California Outlaw

James B. Hume – California Lawman & Detective

Albert Johnson – Owner of Scotty’s Castle

John “Liver Eating” Johnson – Mountain Man and Lawman

The Kidnapping of Frank Sinatra, Jr.

Mathew Kinkead – Colorado Trader to Wealthy Californian

Eusebio Francisco Kino – Jesuit Priest

Kintpuash, aka Captain Jack – Modoc Warrior

Arthur Kunze – Founder of Greenwater

Buckskin Frank Leslie – Another Tombstone Rowdy

The Lost ’49ers

Harry Love – Leading the California Rangers

Nat Love, aka Deadwood Dick – Great Cowboy

James “Tex” Lucas – Bank Robber & Car Thief

Lucky Luciano – Italian Crime Boss of New York

James Marshall – Discovering Gold in California

Bridget “Biddy” Mason – African American Entrepreneur 

Mysterious Dave Mather – Lawman or Outlaw?

Moses Embree “California Joe” Milner – Scouting the West

Surrender of the Modoc Indians, 1873, Frank Leslies Illustrated Newspaper

Surrender of the Modoc Indians, 1873, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper

The Modoc – Fighting in the Lava Beds

The Modoc War

Henry “Hank” Monk – Famous Stage Driver of the Old West

George “Alfred” Monroe – Slave to Skilled “Whip”

Audie Murphy – America’s Greatest Hero

Edna Murray – The Kissing Bandit

Joaquin Murrieta – Patriot or Desperado?

George “Baby Face” Nelson – Bank Robber

U.S. Marshal Evett Nix – Bringing Down the Doolin-Dalton Gang

Ohlone/Costanoan Tribe

Charley Parkhurst – Tough Lady Stage Driver

Ferd Patterson – Living and Dying by the Gun

Sumner Pinkham – Dead at the Hands of a Gunfighter

Henry Plummer – Sheriff Meets a Noose

Delia Haskett Rawson – Carrying the U.S. Mail

Salinan People

Scarface Charley – Celebrated Modoc Warrior

Walter Scott, Better Known as Death Valley Scotty

Shasta Tribe

Charles A. Shibell – Arizona Lawman

Bugsy Siegel and the Re-birth of Las Vegas

Charles Siringo – Cowboy Detective

Sontag Brothers – Outlaw Train Robbers

Francis “Borax” Marion Smith – The Borax King of Death Valley

Jedediah Smith – Blazing the Rockies

Levi Strauss – King of the Blue Jeans

John A. Sutter – Boom & Bust in California

Sutter’s Own Story- Discovery of Gold

“Dangerous Dan” Tucker – Lawman of New Mexico

Big Dave Updyke – Crooked Sheriff of Ada County, Idaho

Tiburcio Vasquez

Tiburcio Vasquez

Tiburcio Vasquez – California Desperado

Stephen Venard – Goldrush Lawman

Vigilante Committees of San Francisco

Vigilantes of California, Idaho, & Montana

Women on the Move: Overland Journeys to California

Christian “Chris” Brevoort Zabriskie

© Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated November 2022.

Also See:

California Ghost Towns & Mining Camps

California – The Golden State

California Photo Galleries

Historic People of America