William C. Chormicle and wife Lavina, Castaic landowners.
William Chormicle was the patriarch of one-half of the infamous Jenkins-Chormicle feud, aka the Castaic Range War, which revolved around conflicting claims to
1,600 acres of land in Castaic. The "war" lasted a quarter-century and claimed an estimated 21 lives.
William Chormicle was tried in 1890 for the murder of two Jenkins partisans, Dolores Cook and George Walton. The coroner's inquest, based in part on eyewitness testimony,
concluded that Chormicle and an accomplice ambushed the two unarmed men, after which time Chormicle fled the county. Captured and tried, he admitted to the shooting.
The 18-day trial was one of the longest in Los Angeles County history to that time; it took the jury just 20 minutes to find Chormicle not guilty by reason of self-defense.
According to Boston (2009:33), "William Chormicle had a tough childhood. While crossing the plains in a covered wagon,
his parents were murdered by Native Americans, and W.C. was shot through the neck with an arrow."
Dolores Cook, his victim many years later, was Native American.
William Chormicle ultimately won clear title to the disputed land in 1904. The killings continued, and it had been believed Chormicle died at rival Bill Jenkins' hand. However,
Chormicle's death certificate shows he died from chronic kidney disease on March 25, 1919.