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Vernon is a city five miles (8.0 km) south of downtown Los Angeles, California. The population was 112 at the 2010 United States Census, the smallest of any incorporated city in the state (and the nearest to downtown Los Angeles).
The city is primarily composed of industrial areas and touts itself as "exclusively industrial". Meatpacking plants and warehouses are common. As of 2006, there were no parks in the city.
Vernon is the historic site where the Battle of La Mesa occurred on January 9, 1847, when General Stephen W. Kearny again defeated a reinforced General José María Flores the day after the Battle of Rio San Gabriel. Accepting defeat, General Flores fled southeast to Sonora, while Major Pico headed north into the San Gabriel Mountains with a hundred Californios. This ended hostilities in Alta California during the Mexican-American war, 1846–1848. At the end of the 1800s it was a stretch of unincorporated grassland near Los Angeles' flourishing downtown.
In 1905, Vernon was incorporated by ranchers James J. and Thomas J. Furlong and John B. Leonis, a merchant. Vernon was incorporated to promote industrial development along the railroads in the area. John Leonis, of Basque origin, had come to Southern California in 1880 to work for his Uncle Miguel Leonis and later established his own ranch on unincorporated county land southeast of Downtown Los Angeles.