Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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CIFUENTES, Fray Bernardino (the-foo-en'-tes), Spanish friar, born in Segovia, Spain, 24 July, 1725; died in California about 1780. He was a son of the Count de Cifuentes, and his real name was Carlos de Cifuentes, that of Fray Bernardino being assumed when he entered his religious order after leading a romantic life. Young Cifuentes was educated at the University of Salamanca, but fled from that place in consequence of a bloody encounter with a fellow-student and enlisted for military service in Africa. In 1752 he was promoted to [he rank of captain, and lost an arm and a leg in battle. Five years afterward the king of Spain gave him the command of the garrison of Toledo, and there he remained until 1760, when he mysteriously disappeared. From the records of the Franciscan order in California, it appears that in 1766 Carlos de Cifuentes entered that order in Spain, taking the conventual name of Fray Bernardino, and came to America. In June, 1770, a party of Spanish missionaries traversed the deserts of Arizona, entered the territory of California, and planted a staff from which hung a white cloth with this inscription, "Mission de Fray Bernardino." Eight years afterward that mission had become a settle-merit with 200 inhabitants, and when the United States took possession of California it was an important town. The new organization of the state being effected, the name of San Bernardino was given to the town and county, which soon became one of the most prosperous sections of California.
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