Redwood City incorporated in 1867, the first city to do so in San Mateo, and it has been the county seat since the county was formed in 1856. The land had been part of the Rancho de las Pulgas granted to the Arguello family in 1835 by the Mexican government. Their control was challenged after the Mexican-American War when California became part of the United States. The family lawyer, Simon M. Mezes, in 1854 defended the claim somewhat successfully and was allowed to buy the part of the estate that is now Redwood City. Mezes sold some of the land to people already squatting on it along the banks of Redwood Creek and named the settlement, Mezesville. Though the city did not keep that name, Mezes Park still exists on land Mezes had given for open space.
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