Maria Ygnacia Lopez de Carrillo
Maria Ygnacia Lopez de Carrillo was born January 31, 1793 to Juan Francisco Lopez, a soldier, and Maria Feliciana Arballo. Carrillo’s parents came to California as part of the Anza Expedition. At age sixteen, Carrillo married Joaquin Victor Carrillo. The couple had thirteen children, twelve living to adulthood. In 1838, after the death of her husband, Carrillo asked for and was given permission to settle in an area north of Sonoma, where she designed and built a large adobe home. In 1841, the Governor granted her 8,885 acres of land, designating it Rancho Cabeza de Santa Rosa. This was one of only a handful of California land grants made to a single woman.
By 1842, Carrillo owned about 3,000 head of cattle, 1,500 horses, and some sheep. She cultivated large fields of wheat, barley, oats, corn, beans, peas, lantejas, watermelons, muskmelons and other crops. Her son, Ramon, handled the livestock while Carrillo herself supervised the farming. In1849, Maria Carrillo died and was buried at the Mission St. Francis de Solano in Sonoma, California. In 1997, Maria Carrillo High School was opened in Santa Rosa, California, named in her honor.