Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
William C. & Lavina Chormicle
Castaic Landowners

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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, although this has been called into question and is under review as of 2023.

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.

HS1001: 19200 dpi jpeg from printed copy.

• Bill Jenkins & Lazy Z

••• SERIES •••
Chormicle, Gardener Tried for Murder of Cook, Walton

• Pollack Story 2014
• Reynolds Story
• C. Rasmussen Story


Story of Bill Jenkins
Kreider 1952


W.C. Chormicle


Chormicle Allies Start a School, 1889/90


Land Feud Goes to Court 1890


Chormicle's Son Arrested 1890


Dolores Cook Land Patent 1891


Suen Murders Aceda 1895


Chormicle Sued for Slander 1910

SEE ALSO: Lazy Z (Jenkins Ranch) Graves Unearthed 1998

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