The Lugos were a prominent family in early California during the Spanish and Mexican periods, members of a group that came to be known as the Californios.  Several members of this family owned large tracts of land called ranchos, obtained by grants from the Spanish and Mexican governments in recognition of military service, through marriage into other prominent familes, or outright purchase.

Antonio Lugo was born at the Mission of San Antonio de Padua in 1775, the son of Francisco Salvador Lugo (1714-1805), a native of Sinaloa who arrived in Alta California in 1774.  Antonio became a soldier under the King of Spain in 1793, was stationed at the Royal Presidio at Santa Barbara, and served until 1810.  On January 17, 1793, he married Maria Dolores Ruiz of Santa Barabra, and was furnished with an adobe house near the presidio.  During the seventeen years he served, his assignments included other missions and presidios throughout California, and he became acquainted with many important people who were to play a role in his success in the future.

About 1809 Antonio requested a grant of land and selected an area in present day Lynwood; it was granted immediately, and in early January, 1810, he move his family to an adobe at the Plaza in the pueblo of Los Angeles.  Later he built a hacienda on the corner of San Pedro and Second Streets, moved there in 1819 and lived there for most of the rest of his life.  He also worked his land grant, situated about ten miles south of the pueblo, and raised cattle.  In 1816 he was appointed Alcalde of the pueblo of Los Angeles by Pablo Vicente Sola, Governor of California.  By 1823 he had too many cattle and decided to acquire more land to move them to.  He asked for another grant, selecting this time land closer to his home in the present city of Bell.  The new governor was a friend of his, and the request was granted immediately.  A third tract, in Montebello, was acquired in the same way in 1827, and a fourth in 1838 near Maywood.  His herd and his wealth continued to grow, he soon became interested in expanding into the San Berndardino Valley, and managed to out manuveur the several ranchers who also desired to acquire land there.  It didn't hurt that the governor in 1839 was his grandnephew.  This time he had the grant placed in the name of his oldest son, Jose del Carmen Lugo, and it included both the San Bernardino and Yucaipa Valleys.  In 1842 it was made official.  He remarried in 1841 to Antonia German, who was fifty-three years younger.  He remained active into his seventies.