Vernon, California

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Vernon is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. The resident population was 91 at the 2000 United States Census. It has the smallest population of any incorporated city in California. Most of the city's land area is occupied by industrial facilities. The slogan on its official city seal is "Exclusively Industrial."[5]



Vernon is the historic site where the Battle of La Mesa occurred on January 9, 1847, the day after the Battle of Rio San Gabriel, which ended hostilities in Alta California during the Mexican-American war, 1846–1848. At the end of the 1800s it was a stretch of unincorporated grassland near Los Angeles' flourishing downtown.[6]

In 1905, Vernon was incorporated by ranchers James J. and Thomas J. Furlong and John B. Leonis, a merchant.[5] Vernon was incorporated to promote industrial development along the railroads in the area. John Leonis, of Basque origin, had come to Southern California in 1880 to work for his Uncle Miguel Leonis and later established his own ranch on unincorporated county land southeast of Downtown Los Angeles. Recognizing the importance of the three major railroads running through the area, he persuaded railroad executives to run spur tracks off the main lines and incorporated the adjacent three miles as the first "exclusively industrial" city in the Southwestern United States. He named the new city after a dirt road, Vernon Avenue, crossing its center.

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