Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
Harry Jr. & Ella Carey with Barbara & Gerald Rübel
Harry Carey Ranch | San Francisquito Canyon

Click image to enlarge

Front row: Ella "Cappy" Carey (left), Barbara Rübel; Back row: Gerald Rübel (left), Harry "Dobe" Carey Jr., probably at the Harry Carey Ranch in San Francisquito Canyon in about 1940. 2¼x2¼-inch print.

The Carey kids of San Francisquito and the Rübel kids of Rancho Camulos were childhood playmates because their parents — actors Harry (Sr.) and Olive Carey, and August and Mary Rübel — were friends.

Identifications by Nathalie Rübel Trefzger, 11-26-2013.

About the Rübel Family:

According to Triem & Stone (1996) — and to his two surviving daughters in 2013, Shirley Rübel Lorenz and Nathalie (Rübel) Trefzger — August A. Rübel was a New Yorker born in Switzerland while his parents were traveling there. (Despite the umlauts, he didn't speak German, according to his daughters.) He grew up on the East Coast and served with the American Field Service during World War I, driving an ambulance in France from the fall of 1917 until 1919.

Rübel attended Harvard University and came to Ventura County in 1922, first living in Aliso Canyon, four miles west of Saticoy, where he and his bride, the former Mary Colgate McIsaac, purchased a 400-acre ranch.

In 1924, Rübel also purchased Rancho Camulos (pronounced kə-MOO-lōs) from the heirs of Ygnacio del Valle. The Rübels moved to the property in 1925.

In April 1925, intent on developing his Aliso Canyon ranch into one of the finest bovine breeding farms in the United States (Los Angeles Times, 4/26/1925), August Rübel paid the highest price on record — $110,000 — for a 4-year-old Holstein bull named Prince Aaggie from the Berylwood Stock Farm at Hueneme. At the same time, he purchased the entire Berylwood herd (179 additional head) and gave his outfit the name "Billiwhack Stock Farm." The herd's manager, J.W. Snodgrass, came along with it.

"Billiwhack" was World War I Army slang for "the place where one hangs his hat" (Oxnard Daily Courier, 4/21/1925). It's a derivation of "bailiwick." Think of it this way: If something is not your bailiwick, it is not your thing, not your place, not something you're comfortable with. Conversely, if something is your bailiwick, or billiwhack, it is your place; as a physical location, it's a place where you're comfortable.

Prince Aaggie was California's undefeated champion and the world's highest yearly record butter bull. Thus his death from a twisted intestine in June 1926, just one year after his purchase by Rübel, sent shock waves throughout the livestock community and devastated his owner (Oxnard Daily Courier, 6/15/1926). Prince Aaggie was uninsured at the time of his death. Rübel had just spent an estimated $1 million on new reinforced concrete buildings, a modern refrigeration plant, refrigerated delivery trucks, and his livestock; and he had other improvements in the works when his prize bull died (The Piru News, 8/30/1928). He sold off the herd and shut down the dairy farm, which sat fallow for two years until 1928 when he sold the property to Ben Fratkin's Valley Dairy Co. of Los Angeles and El Monte. Fratkin reopened it and continued to operate it under the Billiwhack name until the early 1940s.

Rübel taxidermied Prince Aaggie's head and mounted it on the southern wall of the main adobe at Rancho Camulos, where he and Mary raised five children.

The AFS ambulance service was reactivated in 1939. American volunteers drove ambulances in France, North Africa, the Middle East, Italy, Germany, India and Burma, carrying more than 700,000 casualties by the end of World War II.

August Rübel returned to the AFS in 1942 and was killed in Tunisia on April 28, 1943, when the ambulance he was driving hit a German land mine. He is buried in an American military cemetery in Carthage, now a suburb of Tunis. (After the war, in 1947, AFS transitioned into a student exchange program.)

Mary Rübel married Edwin Burger in 1946, who continued as the resident manager of Rancho Camulos after Mary's death in 1968. Subsequently the ranch has been managed by descendants of August and Mary Rübel.

The Rübel family continues to own the ranch. In fact, only two families — the Del Valles and the Rübels — have owned Rancho Camulos since 1839, when it was granted by Gov. Juan B. Alvarado to Mexican Lt. Antonio del Valle as part of the Rancho San Francisco.

Today it makes a lovely setting for a wedding. The historic buildings are operated by the 501c3 nonprofit Rancho Camulos Museum, and they're open for tours on weekend afternoons. Rancho Camulos is located located just 10 miles west of Interstate 5 on scenic Highway 126. For more information visit

And fear not: Prince Aaggie's head is no longer on display.

About Harry Carey Jr.:

[Adapted from]: A Western character actor, Harry Carey Jr. is the son of early Western star Harry Carey Sr. and actress Olive Carey. He was born May 16, 1921, on his parents' ranch in San Francisquito Canyon (Saugus). He was nicknamed "Dobe" when he was a few hours old because his red hair reminded his father of the red soil in the area that was used to make adobe bricks. His sister, Ella, came along two years later (Nov. 16, 1923) and was nicknamed "Cappy" because her father, Harry Sr., was "captain" of his boat, the Ella Ada.

Dobe and Cappy attended Newhall School when it was on Lyons Avenue near Newhall Avenue. As children they got to know some of the regular visitors to the Saugus ranch, such as actor William S. Hart, humorist-actor Will Rogers, painter Charles Russell and their parents' good friend, director John Ford — who was at the ranch the day Dobe was born.

Dobe went to high school at Black Foxe Military Institute in Hollywood with the sons of other Hollywood personalities. As a young man he yearned to be a singer. While taking voice lessons in New York City in 1939 he got his first paying job at the New York World's Fair in the show, "Railroads on Parade" — not as a singer, but as a horseback rider, something he learned to do with great skill on the Saugus ranch. In 1941 he was hired by NBC as a page boy and then entered in the Navy. He shipped out but was quickly recalled to Washington by John Ford, who was working for the OSS — the predecessor to the CIA. Under Ford's "direction," Dobe developed Allied and captured German spy film for the war effort. In 1944, while still in the Navy, Dobe married Marilyn Fix, the daughter of actor Paul Fix. She would remain his lifelong companion and gave him four children.

In 1946, Dobe followed his father into the motion picture business, landing a role in a "B" movie, "Rolling Home." Next came a featured role in Raoul Walsh's "Pursued," and he was on his way. In 1947 he made his first of 11 films with John Wayne, appearing in the Howard Hawks classic, "Red River." Harry Sr. appeared in the film, as well, although they did not appear on camera together. Senior never saw it; it was released posthumously in 1948.

In that year Ford remade "3 Godfathers," which he had made in 1919 with Harry Sr. This time Junior shared the lead (and sang) with Duke Wayne and Mexican box-office sensation Pedro Armendariz. It was his first of nine films as a member of the John Ford Stock Company — the others being "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon," "Wagonmaster," "Rio Grande" (in which he did some Roman riding, standing on two horses while galloping through Monument Valley), "The Searchers," "Two Rode Together," "The Long Gray Line," "Mister Roberts" and "Cheyenne Autumn."

Harry Carey Jr. appeared in nearly 100 films and hundreds of television episodes, including numerous appearances in the Mickey Mouse Club series "The Adventures of Spin and Marty" (shot on the Walt Disney Co.'s Golden Oak Ranch in Placerita Canyon), "Gunsmoke" (early episodes shot on Gene Autry's Melody Ranch in Placerita Canyon), "Rawhide" (ditto) and others. He has made two documentaries, "Legends of the American West" and "John Ford's America" and is the author of the book, "Company of Heroes: My Life As an Actor in the John Ford Stock Company," available in hard- and softcover editions. Dobe and Marilyn — and Cappy — live in Santa Barbara.

Update: Dobe died Dec. 28, 2012.

Further reading: Harry Carey Ranch: Historic American Buildings Survey No. CA-2712.


Last Stand at Saber River (1997) (TV) ... James Sanford

Ben Johnson: Third Cowboy on the Right (1996) ... Himself

Sunchaser, The (1996) ... Cashier

Wyatt Earp: Return to Tombstone (1994)

Tombstone (1993) ... Tombstone Marshall Fred White

Exorcist III, The (1990) ... Father Kanavan

Back to the Future Part III (1990) ... Saloon Old Timer #2

Bad Jim (1990) ... J.C. Lee

John Ford (1990) (TV) ... Himself

Breaking In (1989) (as Harry Carey) ... Shoes

Once Upon a Texas Train (1988) (TV) (as Harry Carey) ... Herald Pitch

Illegally Yours (1988) ... Wally Finnegan

Cherry 2000 (1987) ... Snappy Tom

Whales of August, The (1987) ... Joshua Brackett

Crossroads (1986) ... Bartender

Adventures of William Tell (1986) (TV) ... Mutino

Mask (1985) ... Red

Gremlins (1984) ... Mr. Anderson

Princess Daisy (1983) (TV)

Shadow Riders, The (1982) (TV) ... Pa Traven

Endangered Species (1982) ... Dr. Emmer

Long Riders, The (1980) ... George Arthur

Wild Times (1980) (TV) ... Fitz Bragg

UFOria (1980) ... George Martin

Kate Bliss and the Ticker Tape Kid (1978) (TV) ... Deputy Luke

"Black Beauty" (1978) (mini) (TV Series) ... Mr. Bond

Nickelodeon (1976) ... Dobe

Take a Hard Ride (1975) ... Dumper

Challenge to White Fang (1974) ... Tarwater

Cahill U.S. Marshal (1973) ... Hank

Man From The East (1972) (Italy)

Run, Cougar, Run (1972)

Trinity Is STILL My Name! (1972) (USA/Italy)

Big Jake (1971) (as Harry Cary Jr.) ... Pop Dawson

One More Train to Rob (1971) ... Red

Something Big (1971) ... Joe Pickins

Moonshine War, The (1970) ... Arley Stamper

Dirty Dingus Magee (1970) ... Charles Stuart

One More Time (1970)

Undefeated, The (1969) ... Soloman Webster, Thomas Rider

Death of a Gunfighter (1969) ... Reverend Rork

Bandolero! (1968) (as Harry Carey) ... Cort Hayjack

Devil's Brigade, The (1968) ... Captain Rose

Way West, The (1967) ... Mr. McBee

Ballad of Josie, The (1967) ... Mooney, Meredith's Foreman

Rare Breed, The (1966) ... Ed Mabry

Alvarez Kelly (1966) ... Corporal Peterson

Billy the Kid versus Dracula (1966) ... Ben Dooley, wagonmaster

Cyborg 2087 (1966) ... Jay C

Shenandoah (1965) ... Rebel Soldier

Taggart (1965) ... Lt. Hudson

Cheyenne Autumn (1964) (uncredited) ... Trooper Smith

Raiders, The (1963) ... Jellicoe Flashing

Spikes (1962) (TV) ... Player in dugout

Public Affair, A (1962) ... Bill Martin

Two Rode Together (1961) ... Ortho Clegg

Noose for a Gunman (1960) ... Jim Ferguson

Great Impostor, The (1960) ... Dr. Joseph Mornay

Rio Bravo (1959) ... Harold (Final scene was cut but Screen Credit remained on print)

Gundown at Sandoval (1959)

Escort West (1958) ... Travis

"Texas John Slaughter" (1958) (TV Series) ... Ben Jenkins

From Hell to Texas (1958) ... Trueblood

"New Adventures of Spin and Marty, The" (1958) (TV Series) ... Bill Burnett

River's Edge, The (1957) ... Chet

"Further Adventures of Spin and Marty, The" (1957) (TV Series) ... Bill Burnett

Kiss Them for Me (1957) (uncredited)

Gun the Man Down (1956) ... Deputy Lee

Great Locomotive Chase, The (1956) ... William Bensinger

Searchers, The (1956) ... Brad Jorgensen

7th Cavalry (1956) ... Corporal Morrison

House of Bamboo (1955) (uncredited) ... John

Mister Roberts (1955) ... Stefanowski

Long Gray Line, The (1955) ... Dwight Eisenhower

"Spin and Marty" (1955) (TV Series) ... Bill Burnett

Spin and Marty: The Movie (1955) ... Bill Burnett

Outcast, The (1954) ... Bert

Silver Lode (1954) ... Johnson

Island in the Sky (1953) ... Hunt

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) (uncredited) ... Sims

Sweethearts on Parade (1953) ... Jim Riley

San Antone (1953) ... Dobe Frakus

Niagara (1953) (uncredited) ... Taxi Driver

Beneath the 12-Mile Reef (1953) ... Griff

Monkey Business (1952) (uncredited) ... Reporter

Wild Blue Yonder, The (1951) ... Sergeant Shaker Schuker

Warpath (1951) ... Captain Gregson

Rio Grande (1950) ... Trooper Daniel 'Sandy' Boone

Wagon Master (1950) ... Sandy

Copper Canyon (1950) ... Lt. Ord

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) ... Lt. Ross Pennell

3 Godfathers (1948) ... William Kearney, 'The Abilene Kid'

Moonrise (1948) ... Jimmy Biff

Red River (1948) ... Dan Latimer

Blood on the Moon (1948) (uncredited) ... Cowboy

Pursued (1947) ... Prentice McComber

Rolling Home (1946) (uncredited)

———Notable TV guest appearances———

"B.L. Stryker" (1989) ... in episode: "Auntie Sue" (episode #1.4) 4/17/1989

"Knight Rider" (1982) playing "Josh Morgan" ... in episode: "Not a Drop to Drink" (episode #1.7) 11/5/1982

"CHiPs" (1977) playing "Grandfather Criss" ... in episode: "Flare Up" (episode #5.20) 3/7/1982

"Little House on the Prairie" (1974) playing "sheriff Pike" ... in episode: "New Beginning, A" (episode #7.3) 10/6/1980

"B.J. and the Bear" (1979) ... in episode: "Fire In The Hole"

"Gunsmoke" (1955) playing "Amos Brody" ... in episode: "Trail of Bloodshed" (episode #19.21) 3/4/1974

"Doc Elliot" (1973) ... in episode: "Runner, The" (episode #1.6) 2/13/1974

"Banacek" (1972) playing "Dean Barrett" ... in episode: "Horse of a Slightly Different Color" (episode #2.5) 1/22/1974

"Gunsmoke" (1955) playing "Kelliher" ... in episode: "Gold Train: The Bullet: Part 3" (episode #17.14) 12/13/1971

"Gunsmoke" (1955) playing "Kelliher" ... in episode: "Gold Train: The Bullet: Part 2" (episode #17.13) 12/6/1971

"Gunsmoke" (1955) playing "Kelliher" ... in episode: "Gold Train: The Bullet: Part 1" (episode #17.12) 11/29/1971

"Gunsmoke" (1955) playing "Will Roniger" ... in episode: "Lost, The" (episode #17.1) 9/13/1971

"Virginian, The" (1962) playing "Thad" ... in episode: "Follow the Leader" (episode #9.11) 12/2/1970

"Mannix" (1967) ... in episode: "Missing: Sun and Sky" (episode #3.12) 12/20/1969

"Outcasts, The" (1968) ... in episode: "Thin Edge, The" (episode #1.17) 2/17/1969

"Gunsmoke" (1955) playing "Nathan Cade" ... in episode: "Waco" (episode #14.11) 12/9/1968

"Cimarron Strip" (1967) ... in episode: "Sound of a Drum" (episode #1.19) 2/1/1968

"Gunsmoke" (1955) playing "Will Roniger" ... in episode: "Baker's Dozen" (episode #13.15) 12/25/1967

"Bonanza" (1959) ... in episode: "Judgment at Red Creek" (episode #8.24) 2/26/1967

"Rounders, The" (1966) ... in episode: "Horse On Jim Ed Love, A" (episode #1.1) 9/6/1966

"Legend of Jesse James, The" (1965) ... in episode: "Celebrity, The" (episode #1.12) 12/6/1965

"Gunsmoke" (1955) ... in episode: "Bank Baby" (episode #10.26) 3/20/1965

"Branded" (1965) ... in episode: "Vindicator, The" (episode #1.2) 1/31/1965

"Redigo" (1963) ... in episode: "Man in a Blackout" (episode #1.7) 11/5/1963

"Wagon Train" (1957) playing "John Jay Burroughs" ... in episode: "Sam Pulaski Story, The" (episode #7.8) 11/4/1963

"Wagon Train" (1957) playing "Charlie Hankins" ... in episode: "Molly Kincaid Story, The" (episode #7.1) 9/16/1963

"Stoney Burke" (1962) ... in episode: "Tigress by the Tail" (episode #1.30) 5/6/1963

"Laramie" (1959) ... in episode: "Time of the Traitor" (episode #4.11) 12/11/1962

"Gunsmoke" (1955) playing "Jake" ... in episode: "Abe Blocker" (episode #8.11) 11/24/1962

"Laramie" (1959) ... in episode: "Lost Allegiance" (episode #4.6) 10/30/1962

"Gunsmoke" (1955) playing "Jim Grant" ... in episode: "Quint Asper Comes Home" (episode #8.3) 9/29/1962

"Checkmate" (1960) playing "Phil Cassidy" ... in episode: "Bold and the Tough, The" (episode #2.32) 5/16/1962

"Frontier Circus" (1961) ... in episode: "Race, The" (episode #1.24) 5/3/1962

"Lawman" (1958) playing "Mitch Evers" ... in episode: "Cort" (episode #4.33) 4/29/1962

"Wagon Train" (1957) ... in episode: "George B. Hanrahan Story, The" (episode #5.26) 3/28/1962

"Rawhide" (1959) ... in episode: "Deserter's Patrol" (episode #4.18) 2/9/1962

"Laramie" (1959) ... in episode: "Barefoot Kid, The" (episode #3.15) 1/9/1962

"Perry Mason" (1957) playing "Frank Deane" ... in episode: "Case of the Roving River, The" (episode #5.15) 12/30/1961

"Rifleman, The" (1958) playing "Lt. Bond" ... in episode: "Journey Back, The" (episode #4.5) 10/30/1961

"Whispering Smith" (1961) ... in episode: "Safety Value" (episode #1.5) 6/5/1961

"Laramie" (1959) playing "Harry Markle" ... in episode: "Debt, The" (episode #2.25) 4/18/1961

"Gunsmoke" (1955) playing "Turloe" ... in episode: "Bad Sheriff" (episode #6.17) 1/7/1961

"Tall Man, The" (1960) ... in episode: "One of One Thousand" (episode #1.16) 12/31/1960

"Bonanza" (1959) ... in episode: "Mission, The" (episode #2.2) 9/17/1960

"Overland Trail" (1960) ... in episode: "Sour Annie" (episode #1.13) 5/8/1960

"Hotel de Paree" (1959) ... in episode: "Sundance and the Long Trek" (episode #1.26) 4/22/1960

"Rifleman, The" (1958) playing "Lt. Paul Rolfe" ... in episode: "Deserter, The" (episode #2.25) 3/15/1960

"Tombstone Territory" (1957) ... in episode: "Holcomb Brothers" (episode #3.22) 3/4/1960

"Rawhide" (1959) ... in episode: "Incident of the Shambling Man" (episode #2.3) 10/9/1959

"Gunsmoke" (1955) playing "Deesha" ... in episode: "Horse Deal" (episode #5.3) 9/26/1959

"Wagon Train" (1957) ... in episode: "Chuck Wooster, Wagonmaster" (episode #2.33) 5/20/1959

"Have Gun Will Travel" (1957) ... in episode: "Road to Wickenberg, The" (episode #2.7) 10/25/1958

"Have Gun Will Travel" (1957) ... in episode: "Gentleman, The" (episode #2.3) 9/27/1958

"Broken Arrow" (1956) ... in episode: "Blood Brothers" (episode #2.33) 5/13/1958

"Lone Ranger, The" (1949) playing "Dice Dawson, alias Jay Thomason" ... in episode: "Return of Dice Dawson" (episode #4.44) 7/14/1955

NT1002: 19200 dpi jpeg from original photograph | Nathalie (Rübel) Trefzger collection.

August Rübel, AFS


Oral Histories: Mary Rübel Burger, Jaime del Valle, Glenn S. Dumke 1958


Shirley Rübel Lorenz Oral History 2002

Oral History 2008


Prince Aaggie 1920s


Billiwhack Dairy Can


Shirley with Bulldog ~1928


5 Church Bells 1920s


Fountain at Cocina ~1920s-30s


Shirley & Nathalie Birthday ~1931


Ranch Photos 1935


Garden Parties 1936


Del Valle Stagecoach 1938


Property Appraisal 1939


August's Library n.d.


Rübel & Carey Kids ~1940


Foreman Charlie Rycroft


August Rubel at Desk


Johnny Dingtoes


August & Gerald 1942


Double Wedding 1950s


Peter Rubel 1935-1957


Grave Marker, Baby August ("Little Boy") 2013


• Harry Carey Ranch Survey 2001


Survey Photos (86)


Living Room Furniture

• Harry Carey Jr. Photo Collection
• Harry Carey Jr. in the Movies


Interview: Dobe & Cappy Carey 2005


Video: Dobe Returns 2009


Ranch 1920s


Trading Post 1920s


Interior 1920s


Navajo Rug Room


Trading Post 1910s-20s


Arrow Sign 1920s


Tourists 1920s


Performers 1920s


Baking Bread 1920s


Hosting Film Critics 1921


1st Ranch House


Carey & Rübel Kids ~1940


Ranch Buildings


Tesoro: Homes Planned 1992


Dobe (x2) 2005


Monument Dedication 5-2-2015


Tesoro Phase A-B-C EIR 2/2018


Tesoro (San Francisquito) Bedrock Mortar

RETURN TO TOP ]   RETURN TO MAIN INDEX ]   PHOTO CREDITS ]   BIBLIOGRAPHY ]   BOOKS FOR SALE ] is another service of SCVTV, a 501c3 Nonprofit • Site contents ©SCVTV
The site owner makes no assertions as to ownership of any original copyrights to digitized images. However, these images are intended for Personal or Research use only. Any other kind of use, including but not limited to commercial or scholarly publication in any medium or format, public exhibition, or use online or in a web site, may be subject to additional restrictions including but not limited to the copyrights held by parties other than the site owner. USERS ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE for determining the existence of such rights and for obtaining any permissions and/or paying associated fees necessary for the proposed use.