Juana Briones was one of California’s most important Hispanic women. She was born in 1802 near Santa Cruz. Juana grew up in the Presidio of California. 
Juana was well known and respected as a healer.  She was very knowledgeable about herbal medicine as was well-regarded as a midwife.  
After divorcing her husband, Juana purchased property in Yerba Buena (Now known as North Beach in San Francisco) as well as Rancho la Purisma Concepcion, a 4400 acre plot.  When California became a state, Briones won a U.S. Supreme Court case allowing her to maintain ownership of  her land, making her one of the first women to own property in California.  She would own five properties during her lifetime.
In addition to being a landowner, she was a successful entrepreneur.  She participated in the international hide trade and a thriving home farm business.