Rancho Thompson

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Rancho Thompson (also called "Eight Leagues on Stanislaus River") was a 35,533-acre (143.80 km2) Mexican land grant in present-day San Joaquin County and Stanislaus County, California given in 1846 by Governor Pío Pico to Alpheus Basil Thompson.[1] The rectangular grant was 2 leagues (6.0 miles; 9.7 kilometres) along both sides of the Stanislaus River by 4 leagues (12 miles; 19 kilometres) – mostly north of the river. The grant encompassed present-day Riverbank and Oakdale.[2]


Captain Alpheus Basil Thompson (1795–1869)[3] was a seagoing merchant from Brunswick, Maine who settled in Santa Barbara in 1834.[4] Thompson owned the ships Loriot and the Bolívar Liberator, trading between the China and California.[5] Thompson married Francisca Carrillo, daughter of Carlos Antonio Carrillo, Governor of Alta California from 1837 to 1838. Thomson and his shipping partner and brother-in-law, John Coffin Jones, Jr. (1796–1861), entered into a partnership to manage their Santa Rosa Island, California land grant. A legal battle between Thompson and Jones began in 1856, and the acrimonious Thompson-Jones partnership ended in 1859.

With the cession of California to the United States following the Mexican-American War, the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo provided that the land grants would be honored. As required by the Land Act of 1851, a claim for Rancho Thompson was filed with the Public Land Commission in 1852,[6] and the grant was patented to Alpheus Basil Thompson in 1858.[7]

Thompson sold an undivided seven-tenths to Gabriel B. Post of G. B. Post & Co., San Francisco, and the remaining three-tenths to the law firm of Halleck, Peachy & Billings. Post & Co. went bankrupt, and Halleck, Peachy & Billings now owned the entire grant. The grant was sold off in small pieces from 1858 to 1862.


  1. ^ Ogden Hoffman, 1862, Reports of Land Cases Determined in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Numa Hubert, San Francisco
  2. ^ Diseño del Rancho Thompson
  3. ^ From the description of Alpheus B. Thompson papers, 1825-1864., University of California Press / WorldCat record id: 84653505
  4. ^ Ada Addis Storke, 1891,A Memorial And Biographical History Of The Counties Of Santa Barbara, Ventura, And San Luis Obispo, The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago.
  5. ^ D. Mackenzie Brown, 1947, China trade days in California: Selected letters from the Thompson papers, 1832-1863, University of California Press
  6. ^ United States. District Court (California : Northern District) Land Case 351 ND
  7. ^ Report of the Surveyor General 1844 - 1886

Coordinates: 37°48′00″N 120°53′24″W / 37.800°N 120.890°W / 37.800; -120.890