About This Place
Compton is a city in southern Los Angeles County, California, United States, southeast of downtown Los Angeles. The city of Compton is one of the oldest cities in the county and on May 11, 1888, was the eighth city to incorporate. The city is considered part of the South side by residents of Los Angeles. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 96,455. It is known as the "Hub City" due to its geographic centrality in Los Angeles County. Neighborhoods in Compton include: Sunny Cove, Leland, Downtown Compton, and the Richland Farms.
In 1784, the Spanish Crown deeded a tract of over 75,000 acres (304 km²) to Juan Jose Dominguez in this area. The tract was named Rancho San Pedro. Dominguez's name was later applied to the Dominguez Hills community south of Compton. The tree that marked the original northern boundary of the rancho still stands at the corner of Poppy and Short streets. The rancho was sub-divided and parcels were sold within the Californios of Alta California until the lands were ceded after the Mexican-American war in 1848. American immigrants acquired most of the rancho lands after 1848.
In 1867, Griffith Dickenson Compton led a group of thirty pioneers to the area. These families had traveled by wagon train south from Stockton, California in search of ways to earn a living other than in the rapid exhaustion of gold fields. Originally named Gibsonville, after one of the tract owners, it was later called Comptonville. However, to avoid confusion with the Comptonville located in Yuba County, the name was shortened to Compton. Compton’s earliest settlers were faced with terrible hardships as they farmed the land in bleak weather to get by with just the barest subsistence. The weather continued to be harsh, rainy and cold, and fuel was difficult to find. To gather firewood it was necessary to travel to mountains close to Pasadena. The round trip took almost a week. Many in the Compton party wanted to relocate to a friendlier climate and settle down. But there were only two general stores within traveling distance, one in the pueblo of Los Angeles, the other in Wilmington, so they eventually made the decision to stay put.