What happened to the Rancho after Juan Jose's death?
Manuel Gutierrez was the executor of Juan Joses estate, while Felipe Talamantes was in control of the livestock. Juan Jose drew up a will only three days before his death. He left half his livestock to his nephew, Cristobal and the remaining half to the children of Mateo Rubio. He left half of Rancho San Pedro to Cristobal Dominguez and the other half was divided between Gutierrez and Rubio. Initially, Cristobal wanted no part of the Rancho when he discover his uncle had left it in debt and disrepair. He had no money to pay the debt and couldnt look after the rancho since he was in the military. So Gutierrez moved in, assumed control of the rancho, and paid off the debt.
The rancho thrived under Gutierrez control, within ten years his cattle had expanded to 9,000 head. Before 1810, Gutierrez allowed a friend, Jose Dolores Sepulveda, to graze cattle in a southwest portion of the rancho known as Canada de Los Palos Verdes (Canyon of the Green Trees). Sepulveda not only grazed his cattle on the land, he also built an adobe and made numerous improvements. Jose Dolores Sepulveda was from the same family as Juan Jose Dominguezs mother. Gutierrez also allowed Agustin Machado and the Avila Family to graze cattle on the rancho.