Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
> SAN FRANCISQUITO CANYON / ST. FRANCIS DAM DISASTER

But One Girl Left of School; Even Teacher Dead
Fail to Find Body of Beloved Instructor Who Brought Happiness to Canyon


One little girl is the only survivor of the school in San Francisquito canyon where Mrs. Cecilia Small not only taught her class of twelve pupils, but gave birthday parties for them, planned entertainments for their parents, and led in community affairs in the little canyon settlement.

The body of Mrs. Small has not been found. Six-year-old Julius Goldman, one of her pupils, still is missing. Belle Frazer escaped. The bodies of ten children have been recovered.

Mrs. Small was a sister-in-law of T.E. Mitchell 5526 Carlton way. Her husband, Frank D. Small, was formerly mayor of North Chelmsford, Mass., and died in an accident some years ago.

"Everybody in the canyon loved her," said Mitchell. "When she went there four years ago, there was a good deal of dissension and coolness. She set herself to make everyone her friend, and she succeeded. She bought a piano, a radio and a phonograph. She arranged entertainments for the people. She never forgot the birthday of one of her pupils, and she always gave a party for the child."


Webmaster's note: Cecilia Small taught at the San Francisquito School in San Francisquito Canyon, below the dam. According to contributor Ann Stansell, her LADWP claim file (No. 2101) shows her body was found March 16, 1928, in Newhall (see this document). Born 1877 (as Cecilia Marinel), she is buried at Riverside Cemetery in North Chelmsford, Mass., with her husband, Frank Small (1876-1919). Amelia B. Mitchell, Cecilia's sister-in-law, filed a $20,371.18 claim with the City of Los Angeles for her death and was awarded $4,150.

Apparently the correct name of the Goldman child was Julian. Per Stansell, Julian Goldman was boarding with Cecelia Small in a cabin on the Ruiz ranch (see this document). Julian's parents lived on Carlton Way in Hollywood, next to Cecelia's sister and brother, Thomas Mitchell (middle initial alternately C or E). Later, a Mr. Julian Goldman, apparently the boy's father, was awarded $550 (the full amount of his claim) by the city of Los Angeles to compensate for the loss of his child.

Other news reports indicate 12 of 13 students of the San Francisquito School perished; this article suggests a total enrollment of 12 students, of whom 10 perished, one survived and one (Goldman) was missing.

ST. FRANCIS DAM VICTIMS

ALSO SEE:
• Memorial (Proposed)
• Claims & Claimants


Background: Forgotten Casualties (CSUN 2013)

• ROSTER OF VICTIMS

• Memorialization and Memory
(Stansell 2014)

• Paper: Oral History (Licon 2014)

• News Story 8-6-2014


Story: Victims & Heroes

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FILM: Body Recovery, Newhall Morgue

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FILM: Nighttime Recovery of Bodies
3-17-1928

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Tony Harnischfeger

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Lyman & Lillian Curtis

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Marjorie & Mazie Curtis (Mult.)

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San Francisquito School

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Cecilia Small, Schoolteacher

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Ruiz Family x7

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Pete Rivera

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Erratchuo 1928

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1928 Mourners

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Newhall Cowboys 1928 Marker x2

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Newhall Morgue

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Gottardi Family

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Felda Pike Obituary

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Saugus Community Club Members

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Oral History: Thelma McCawley Shaw 2010

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Oral History: Biz Basolo 2009

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