This article was translated by John R. Bopp

We can imagine the story of Eugene Warren Biscailuz (1883-1969), the Basque-American Sheriff of Los Angeles County, is well known among the Basques of California, but we were impacted by it.  We found out about it thanks to an article penned by Sid Gally, a volunteer at the Pasadena Museum of History, in the Pasadena Star News.

It’s an extraordinary story of an extraordinary man, in a time in the US that was still growing into its modern form in that part of the continent.  We’re sure you can imagine you can easily see that Sheriff Eugene Warren Biscailuz was, and is, a well-known figure in Los Angeles and in California.  A quick Google search showed us the large number of sites we can visit that discuss him.

All of his biographies highlight that he was of Basque descent, specifically from north of the Pyrenees, which means that it must have been a very important part of his identity, and that he made a point of mentioning it to the point of its becoming a fundamental part of his personality.

Clayton Moore, Sheriff Eugene Biscailuz, Jay Silverheels at an annual L.A. Sheriff’s Rodeo. Note Clayton is wearing the large mask and dark trousers. Silver has no spot in his ear indicating it is the original horse. Also note Clayton’s open holster...previously worn by Brace Beemer. (Thanx to Carmen Sacchetti.) www.westernclippings.com
Clayton Moore, Sheriff Eugene Biscailuz, Jay Silverheels at an annual L.A. Sheriff’s Rodeo. Note Clayton is wearing the large mask and dark trousers. Silver has no spot in his ear indicating it is the original horse. Also note Clayton’s open holster…previously worn by Brace Beemer. (Thanx to Carmen Sacchetti.) www.westernclippings.com

In addition to the story in the Pasadena Star News, we’ve also decided to include a biograph we found on the Badge History website, which includes an extensive photo collection, where you can see Sheriff Biscailuz alongside politicians, film stars, on the cover of Life, or in a parade. The man had a large public presence, and was definitely popular.

But that is not the photo we want to use to illustrate this article.  Our readers who aren’t as young as they used to be will quickly understand why.  The photos we’ve chosen to make this article shine come from the Western Clippings website, and show us Sheriff Biscailuz alongside Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels, also known as The Lone Ranger and Tonto.

Definitely quite a character.

Pasadena Star News – 2/2/2014- USA

Pasadena History: Sheriff was well-known figure in Pasadena

The Sheriff of Los Angeles County is in the news today as one is leaving and a new one will be chosen. In our younger years in Pasadena we were aware of only one Sheriff, Eugene Biscailuz, as he was often in the news and appeared on horseback in almost every parade, as pictured here. Biscailuz was a local boy, born in Boyle Heights in 1883. His father was of French-Basque background and his mother was partly of Spanish descent. His mother’s father, William Warren, was the first Los Angeles City Marshall. He was shot and killed near City Hall.

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Badge Historia –   -USA

Eugene Warren Biscailuz  (1883-1969)

Sheriff Biscailuz was born in Boyle Heights on March 12, 1883.  He was educated in the Los Angeles public schools, attended the old St. Vincent’s College and the University of Southern California School of Law. He was the son of Martin Biscailuz, for many years a Los Angeles attorney of high standing.  Martin Biscailuz was of French-Basque lineage and a native son, being born on a ranch in Los Angeles County.  Martin’s wife, Sheriff Biscailuz’s mother, was Ida Rose Warren, a descendant of one of the oldest Spanish families on the entire West Coast.  Her father, William Warren, was a native of New York State who sailed around the Horn to California and before the Civil War had wed the beautiful daughter of a Spanish Don. William Warren was the first Los Angeles City Marshal in 1870, and was killed in a gun battle where the present Los Angeles City Hall is now located.

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Photo collection of Sheriff Eugene Warren Biscailuz

 

 

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