Peter J. Filano, residing three miles south of San Bernardino, is one of the oldest and most prosperous pioneers in the valley. He was born in the southern part of France, November 4, 1820, the oldest of a family of three children. When a young man he went to Africa, and for nine years engaged in the slave trade on the east and west coasts. In 1845 he sailed from Maca to China and took slaves, then from China to Salem, Massachusetts. He followed the sea for fifteen years. In 1848 he sailed from New York to New Orleans, and thence to St. Louis, from St. Louis to Council Bluffs by steamer, and there wintered.
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In the spring of 1849 he crossed by ox team to Salt Lake City, where he wintered, and the next spring started across the plains to California. Their train consisted of fifty-two wagons, under Captain Foote. They had a very prosperous journey, and in September 1852, they all arrived safely in San Bernardino, when there was but one building (the fort) in the place. His first purchase of land was 225 acres, where he has since been engaged as a general farmer and stock-raiser. He owned at one time 1,000 or more acres of land and kept several thousand fine sheep and cattle. He paid $5 per acre for his land and built the first house, an adobe, in the valley. For some years he was successfully engaged in the mercantile business in San Bernardino. At the present time he is carrying on the dairy business.
In 1859 be married Miss Elizabeth Luyhan, a native of Los Angeles. She was the daughter of Joseph and Mary Luyhan, the former born in Spain, and the latter in California. Her father was one of the first settlers in Los Angeles, having crossed the plains at a very early day, and one time was a general. He died in 1881, having had a family of ten children. Mr. and Mrs. Filanc have reared three children: Louisa, now Mrs. S. Lamber, of San Francisco; Enneas; and Peter, who still resides with his parents. Both Mr. and Mrs. Filanc are members of the Catholic Church in San Bernardino. Politically Mr. Filanc affiliates with the Democratic Party, and as a citizen, commands the confidence and respect of his fellow-citizens.