Leonardo Escalante: 1866-1915

On June 16, 1915, Leonardo dies.

The cause of death was “Phthisis Pulmonalis Organic.” It is the antiquated way of saying “consumption of lungs, strictly applied to tubercular variety.” He died before he turned 50.

Leonardo Escalante Sr's Death Certificate.

Leonardo Escalante Sr’s Death Certificate.

When I talked to the lady at the Santa Ana Cemetery, she said, “Oh. He died in Delhi.” Apparently, I was supposed to know what that meant. There is a Delhi, CA, but it is in the San Joaquin Valley. I thought it was strange that the family would move up north and then bury him a few hundred miles away. I was also shy about not asking more questions at this point in my research too. It took about another 10 years for me to discover that Delhi (aka New Delhi) was an “old school” name for an area where Tustin now is.

Rufina may have been consulted to provide information on his certificate. “Pool Room” was still listed as his occupation, but I have been unable to find that he was working this job in Orange County. This kind of “career highlight” isn’t unusual though. My grandfather’s occupation was listed as the owner of “Tony’s Round-Up” on his death certificate, but he hadn’t worked the restaurant for over 20 years.

I have been back to see Leonardo several times. He was buried in the Santa Ana Cemetery. There were Romos buried there too, in a different section. Here are the documents I received from the cemetery.

Location of Leonardo's grave at Santa Ana Cemetery.

Location of Leonardo’s grave at Santa Ana Cemetery.

This form lists all of the information the office still holds regarding the grave.

This form lists all of the information the office still holds regarding the grave.

Leonardo's gravesite with tombstone from Anna.

Leonardo’s gravesite with tombstone from Anna.

While it is difficult to read, the bottom line on the tombstone says something about his sister. I took a rubbing from it last time I was there, but have misplaced it. I am almost positive Anna was the one who bought the grave marker for her little brother. He was the one who had been with her growing up and had been her friend their adult lives. He was a reminder of both of her parents and the life they had before their father died.

Rufina, his wife of almost 30 years, was now a widow with only one out of the house being married. Her eldest boys would undoubtedly help, but the youngest children were 11, 8, 6 and 1.

The paths of both families will change. Without Leonardo’s link to his sister, Rufina will make several decisions that will sever the close ties that have bonded the families for almost two decades.

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