In 1842, Governor Juan B. Alvarado granted my great, great grandfather, Victor Linares, Rancho Canada de Los Osos in San Luis Obispo County. Pio Linares (El Pistolero) was one of his six children. Pio was known as one of the finest vacqueros of his time, breaking horses that were “fit for a queen to ride”.
Standing up to the flood of white settlers trying to claim territory, including his family’s ranchos, most Californios saw him as a patriot. However, the county historical documents tell of him being a leader in the Jack Powers gang that lived by the motto, “Dead men tell no tales.” The documents go on to say that after a lurid series of crimes, the gang went underground.
On June 13, 1858, Pio was traced to Rancho Canada de Los Osos. The San Luis Obispo Committee of Vigilance mounted up in pursuit. They set fire and burned the roof of the house, but Pio and his men escaped into the woods. The following morning, 25 men crawled into the dark thicket after the gang. A shot rang out and one of the vigilantes fell dead. Seeing the flash of Pio’s weapon, the others immediately returned fire. Pio took a fatal shot to the head. Michael Mooney, Winemaker
Pio Linares Home in San Luis Obispo
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