Don Juan Bandini
Bandini was a Peruvian by birth, and almost immediately after his arrival in San Diego in 1821, by reason of his superior intellect and natural gifts, he received an appointment as a member of the territorial assembly. Of Bandini, a contemporary writer has said, "He was a man of fair education and abilities, of generous impulses, of jovial temperament; famous for his gentlemanly manners, of good courage in the midst of discouragement and always well liked and respected; indeed, his record as a citizen is excellent. He also performed honestly and efficiently the duties of his various official positions. He was an eloquent speaker and fluent writer".1 Immediately upon securing his grant, Senor Bandini began stocking his Rancho, upon which he built a ranch house, in which he and his family resided for some time.
It was Bandini who, in 1843, persuaded a band of colonists from New Mexico to settle on the Jurupa Rancho, to afford his stock and lands some protection from marauding Indians. In exchange for serving as vaqueros, Bandini granted the families sites of land. More colonists arrived from New Mexico the same year, and located about a mile north east of "Bandini's Donation", and this later place came to be known as Aqua Mansa.
In 1843, Don Bandini sold a part of the Jurupa Rancho to Benjamin D. Wilson, who discovered Big Bear Lake, and for whom Mt. Wilson was later named. The Grant was purchased from Senor Bandini and Mr. Wilson by Isaac Williams and Col. Johnson, who in 1847 sold the larger part of it to Louis Rubidoux. Rubidoux remained in possession of it until his death in 1867. Mount Rubidoux in Riverside, where Easter Sunrise services are held yearly, commemorates this pioneer.
1 Brown & Boyd, op. cit., p. 27.