Historical Snapshot: A Rancher and A Doctor

Today a brief historical snapshot of the risks of ranching life and the duties of a doctor in San Diego County in 1874.

A brief item in the “Local Intelligence” column of the San Diego Union on Thursday, July 23, 1874 began: “At San Pasqual, on Monday last, James P. Jones, who keeps a bee ranch in the valley, was seriously injured by the premature explosion of a blast while engaging in removing some rocks.

“A portion of one of his hands was carried away and the forearm was fractured. Dr. Remondino was sent for and went out and brought the man in. Yesterday [Wednesday, July 22nd] the arm was amputated by Dr. Remondino, assisted by Drs. Gregg, Fenn and Winder.”

Mr. Jones survived his horrific accident and injuries, as shown by the fact that he turns up six years later in the 1880 United States Census, listed as an “apiarist,” on his north county farm.

Dr. Peter Remondino, the man who saved Mr. Jones’ life, had recently opened a medical office on Fifth Avenue between B and C Streets downtown. He would go on to have a distinguished career as a surgeon, medical lecturer and author and entrepreneur. He helped many people in his life as a skilled and compassionate physician, practicing medicine until just two years before his death in 1926 at the age of 80.

Sources for this post included The Journal of San Diego History, historic San Diego County newspapers and the 1880 United States Census.

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