Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Dead French in L.A.: Sheriff Eugene Biscailuz 1969 Woodlawn Cemetery

Eugene W. Biscailuz (March 12, 1883 – May 16, 1969)[1] was the 27th Sheriff of Los Angeles County, California and organized the California Highway Patrol. 

Family and early life

Sheriff Biscailuz's father, Martin V. Biscailuz, was of French-Basque descent, His mother Ida Rose Warren was descended from old Spanish settlers of California. Her father and the Sheriff's grand father William Warren had sailed around Cape Horn to California and married the daughter of a Spanish Don.

Eugene's education in Los Angeles included Woodbury University (then called Woodbury Business College) followed by a law degree from the University of Southern California. 

Sheriff Biscailuz with child killer Edward Hickman


He joined the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department in 1907, where his law background helped him rise in the ranks until he was appointed Under-Sheriff in 1921.

In 1929, Governor C.C. Young appointed Biscailuz Superintendent of the California Highway Patrol (CHP), where Biscailuz organized the Highway Patrol system, then a new but separate law enforcement agency. Having finished his work for the CHP, in 1931 he resumed his post as Under-Sheriff of Los Angeles County.

Biscailuz was appointed Sheriff in 1932 and was elected to serve from 1934 to 1958. Biscailuz had a colorful career which included executing an extradition from Central America during a revolution and a gun battle on the streets of Los Angeles.

Sheriff Biscailuz with Actress Mae West
Planning commission

He was a member of the city's first planning commission in 1920, which at that time was composed of 51 members appointed by the City Council "to work out an organized, comprehensive plan of city development." Other notable members were Charles A. Holland, C.J. Colden, Evan Lewis and W.H. Workman Jr.[2] 

Sheriff Eugene Biscailuz is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Santa Monica, California.


1.^ Finding Aid of the Eugene Biscailuz scrapbooks 0216

2.^ "City Planners' Progress Told," Los Angeles Times, April 13, 1920, page II-8

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