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Mojave Desert History - Pioneer of the Mojave
Lane Versus Andrews

Lane v Andrews Settled Out of Court

Shortly after Dr. Andrews laid claim to the 160 acres east of the Highmoor property, he began building what was considered to be a rather decent establishment for the area. Pioneer photographer William Jackson traveled the desert in 1866-67 and referred to Andrews' place in a diary entry:

[We] drove on to the Doctor's where we crossed [the river] for the last time. There we heard more of the Indians but so far as I could discover it did not am't to much. Nothing but a couple of squaws seen & one of them captured & confined in an out house. Guess they were more scared than hurt.

The Dr. had a very good house for the country & was neater than they usually are. One woman & a man comprised the inmates.

In 1866 Andrews extended his interests on the desert by subleasing the upper tollhouse in Cajon Pass from Richard Mathews. John Brown had sold the tollhouse to Sydney P. Waite on March 5th of the same year, however no document has been found to verify a lease agreement between Waite and Mathews.

The terms of Andrews' lease required a rental fee of $12 per month for a period of one year, beginning with the recording of the document on November 10th. This gave Andrews control of both the last way station leaving Cajon Pass and the first one upon reaching the Mojave River.

Whatever plans he had in mind did not have time to materialize, because sometime during the tollhouse lease, the Andrews separated, with Sophie getting the upper crossing property and Woodville keeping the San Bernardino house until he sold it in 1870.

In February 1868 Sophie advertised that she would be applying to the District Court "for an order...permitting her to carry on the business of ranching and stock raising in her own name and on her own account, as a sole trader." She received approval, and afterwards she came to terms with Aaron in the dispute over the sale of his claim. Lane v Andrews was heard on January 13, 1869, and the entry into the case records for that day states, "This cause dismissed on motion of plff counsel at cost of defendant," which indicates the issue was settled out of court.

Aaron became disenchanted with lawyers and doctors as a result of the suit, and he expressed his sentiments in a letter he wrote in August 1868:

Health on the river is universally good. We have neither lawyers, doctors, preachers, Sunday-schools, churches, nor apothecary shops, hence the people are healthy, peaceable and prosperous. You cannot say the same, as a rule, of your folks in the burg of San Bernardino, where you have the above mentioned 'things,' plenty and to spare.

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