“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Tehachapi in Kern County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Avelino Martinez

Died at Age 112 on August 7, 1936


—Last Known Member of the Joaquin Murrieta Horse Gangs —

Avelino Martinez Marker image. Click for full size.
By Alan Price, August 2016
1. Avelino Martinez Marker
Inscription. To quote the authors, Frank F. Latta, Arnold R. Rojas, and Bonnie Ketterl Kane, per Rancho El Tejon’s Mayordomo (Supervisor) of almost sixty years, Don Jose Jesus Lopez (J.J.), about Avelino Martinez; “He was a little dried up gnome of a man, so old that his eyelashes had long since fallen out; his beady little eyes seemed to be the only things alive in his shriveled old mash of a face.”

So why do we take the time and expense to recognize such a character? Research tells us that Avelino came to California from Sonora, Mexico, searching for his father at the age of 13. A little while later he met a group of “ladrones” (robbers). This was at the time when Alta California was looking to statehood and was being annexed from Mexico. The Mexicanos looked upon these ladrones as revolutionists / heroes.

Avelino joined the group, thus becoming the hostler (horse groom), sometimes cook, and most times go-fer for Joaquin Valenzuela, one of Joaquin Murrieta’s horse gang lieutenants.

After Joaquin Murrieta was reportedly killed by the California Rangers July 25, 1853 at Cantua Canyon (Fresno County), Avelino and the real Murrieta went to the canyon and helped bury the dead. The remaining members dispersed and Avelino went to work, hiding out, on Rancho El Tejon. He had been working on the
Avelino Martinez Gravesite and Headstone image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, February 24, 2012
2. Avelino Martinez Gravesite and Headstone
Located on the west side at the Tehachapi Public Cemetery
Avelino Martinez
Died Aug 7 1936
112 Yrs 0 Mos 6 Days
(Note: Doughty-Calhoun-O'Meara is a Funeral Home in Bakersfield)
Rancho for over 20 years when J.J. Lopez was hired to manage the ranches’ sheep. Later, after J.J. had been appointed mayordomo, they needed a cook. Avelino liked to cook, so he took over and held that position for over 40 years. He quit El Tejon in the 1920’s and at the age of 94 went to work for E.J. “Bud” Cummings on his ranch in Tehachapi.

When he died at the age of 112, one story says Buddy Cummings paid a local “town drinker”, Okey Dokey, two bottles of wine to bury Avelino. Another version says Buddy paid two of his ranch hands a bottle of wine to bury him at the Catholic Cemetery (now Westside Cemetery). Neither had ever dug a grave before, dug it three feet wide, six feet long, and six feet deep. There was just one peculiarity, the grave was oriented north-south, as opposed to east-west as all the other plots. To this day, Avelino Martinez is the only person buried in the cemetery north-south.
Erected 2016 by Peter LeBeck Chapter 1866, E Clampus Vitus.
Marker series. This marker is included in the E Clampus Vitus marker series.
Location. 35° 7.99′ N, 118° 24.894′ W. Marker is in Tehachapi, California, in Kern County. Marker is on Burnett Road. Click for map. Marker is located at the
Avelino Martinez Headstone image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, February 24, 2012
3. Avelino Martinez Headstone
Placed North to South. Story is that Bud Cummings paid two of his ranch hands with wine to bury Avelino and they surmise they might have been too drunk or just didn't understand which direction to place him according to tradition.
Eastside Cemetery. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1201 Burnett Road, Tehachapi CA 93561, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. T-Hacha-P Brand Mural (approx. 1.6 miles away); Former Richfield Service Station (approx. 1.7 miles away); The Muro House (approx. 1.7 miles away); Arrastra at Railroad Park (approx. 1.7 miles away); 1915 Street Dance Mural (approx. 1.8 miles away); The Legend of Avelino Martinez (approx. 1.8 miles away); Tehachapi Pass (approx. 1.8 miles away); Site of the Kessing Building (approx. 1.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Tehachapi.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesNotable Persons
Avelino Martinez image. Click for full size.
Beale Library
4. Avelino Martinez
Avelino Martinez Seen on Right image. Click for full size.
By Tehachapi Heritage League
5. Avelino Martinez Seen on Right
Cemetery Directional Sign image. Click for full size.
By Alan Price
6. Cemetery Directional Sign
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 127 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on .   2, 3. submitted on , by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California.   4, 5, 6. submitted on . This page was last revised on October 24, 2016.
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