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Birthdate:

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Adams

Russell D.

Birthdate:

October 1849

Birthplace:

Walled Lake, Oakland, Michigan

Occupation:

Physician

Properties Owned:

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Russell D. Adams was the son of  William R. Adams, a farmer, and wife  Clarissa.  William, originally from Ohio,  was a merchant in 1850 living  in Marcellus, Onondaga County, New York.  Clarissa Adams was born in  Pennsylvania.  An Illustrated History of Los Angeles County incorrectly states both parents as being from New York.  An Illustrated History of Los Angeles County also indicates that William and Clarissa moved to Michigan around 1826  to start a general store, but 1850 census records show William R. Adams  living in Marcellus, Onondaga County, New York, being a merchant.  An Illustrated History further states that William R. Adams retired in 1868 and moved to Illinois where he died in 1869.


William’s son Russell D. Adams was born in October of 1849.  An Illustrated History of Los Angeles County gives the following information:

Russell D. Adams was born in Walled Lake, Oakland County, Michigan.   He received a good education as a boy and then was sent to Syracuse, New  York for high school.  He took two years out of his studies to serve as  a medical steward in the United States Navy.  From there, he went to  Michigan State University.  He graduated from Long Island College  Hospital with a medical degree.  In Bloomington, Illinois in 1868, he  married Miss [Callie] Ellis, a native of Ohio. Callie Ellis was born in  May of 1840 in Ohio, according to census records.  Other records show  that Callie and Russell were married in 1868 in Ohio.


Their first  child, Jennie G. Adams was born in November 8, 1868, in Bloomington,  Illinois.An Illustrated History continues reporting that Dr.  Adams and his family moved to Skiddy, Morris County, Kansas, in 1873  where he had a successful practice for several years. However, census  records state that a son, Charles E. Adams, was born in Kansas in 1871,  so he must have arrived earlier than Illustrated History states.   Other records show the Adams, along with his mother-in-law Rebecca  Ellis,  living in 1875 and 1885 (Rebecca Ellis had died before the last  date) in Rolling Prairie, Morris County, Kansas.Charles E. Adams doesn’t  appear in any other census records after 1885.  A daughter Alice was  born in May of 1879 (census records).  Another daughter Frances was born  in 1884 (census records).  In 1885, Dr. Adams and his family went to  Council Grove, Kansas, to continue his practice.  


While in Kansas, Dr.  Adams was active in politics in and served in the Kansas State  Legislature.  But he didn’t like the climate so in 1888, he came to  Alhambra, California, reports An Illustrated History


In 1893, Dr.  Adams moved to Monrovia form partnerships with other doctors, one of  whom was Dr. Pottenger.  He moved into a house at 113 N. Primrose Avenue  (at that time it faced Foothill and the address was 201 W. White Oak  Avenue), which had been the house of a doctor, John Taylor Stewart.Dr.  


Adams was active in civic affairs.  He was on the first school board in  1887 along with Prof. J.G. Cross (USC) and J.J. Renaker.  He was on the  building committee for the Monrovia Baptist Church’s new building,  located at the northwest corner of Palm and Encinitas Avenues and was  also a staunch Republican (History of Monrovia). Dr. Adam’s daughter  Frances (Frankie), graduated from Monrovia High School in 1902.  Alice,  Jennie, and Frank never married and continued to live in the White Oak  house after their father’s death on June 11, 1917.  Sometime in the  early 20s, they moved to 327 N. Myrtle.  Frank worked as a teacher at  Orange Avenue School, Jennie was a dressmaker who worked from the house,  and Alice apparently kept house from them.  An interesting fact in the  1930 census has Alice being the head of the family though she was  younger than Jennie, didn’t work, and Jennie had previously been listed  as head of the household. 


Jennie died on September 16, 1954.  Her  obituary states that though she had been deaf since the age of two, she  played the organ for her church.  The obituary also says that she was an  avid hiker who belonged to a hiking club and climbed to the summit of  Mt. Whitney when she was 82 years old.  It also states that she had no  survivors, so Alice and Frances must have predeceased her.  No reliable  information on death dates could be found for Alice, Frances, or Mrs.  Adams.  None of the Adams family was buried in Live Oak Cemetery.

Anderson

John C.

Birthdate:

June 1, 1845

Birthplace:

Ohio

Occupation:

Contractor

Properties Owned:

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John Calvin Anderson was a carpenter working in Los Angeles when  Monrovia was being subdivided in 1887, and if he wasn't the first  builder to make Monrovia his home, then he was among the first.  Besides  his own house, Anderson built Monrovia's first hotel, the Mills Hotel,  on the west side of Myrtle between Lemon and Orange (Carew 406). Anderson  was born June 1, 1844, in Ohio.  His headstone at Live Oak Cemetery in  Monrovia, California, indicates he was in the Union Army, but little  else is known about his life before he came to California.  His wife,  Elizabeth H. Lindesmith, was born November 30, 1853, also in Ohio.


Los  Angeles California Voter registration lists indicate that John C.  Anderson was in Los Angeles by 1873, where he is listed as a carpenter.   The 1888 voter registration entry has him living in Monrovia working as  a contractor.  He had bought three lots (16, 17, & 18) in Block A  of the Town of Monrovia Subdivision and built a house on Lot 16 that was  valued in 1888 at $700.  That house still stands today and is the site  of the Anderson House Museum.  After John Anderson's death, his wife  continued to live in their house but sold off the other two lots.


John  C. Anderson died on January 25, 1902, and his wife Lizzie died on April  18, 1929.  They are both buried in Live Oak Cemetery in Monrovia.  The  Andersons had two sons.  Lewis Harvey Anderson was born on January 7,  1883, in Los Angeles County.  As a teenager, he worked in a hardware  store in Monrovia, but his life's vocation was as a forest ranger with  the U.S. Forestry Service.  He married in 1918 but had no children.   Lewis Anderson died on October 22, 1956.

George Howard Anderson  was born August 23, 1886, in Millport, Ohio, and lived almost his entire  life in the house his father built at 215 E. Lime Avenue.  He was  employed as a bank cashier for the Security-First National Bank (later  Security Pacific) in Monrovia from 1905 until he retired in the 1960s.   He continued living in the family house after his mother died in 1929.


When he died in 1974, George Anderson left the house to his bank to as a  trustee for the California Community Foundation which is a charitable  trust.  The Foundation then donated the property to Friends of the  Monrovia Public Library who donated it to the Monrovia Historical  Society which restored it and furnished it as it would have been in the  1880s.  Today it is a museum that illustrates what life was like for a  middle class family in Monrovia at the turn of the last century.


George Anderson never married.


For more detailed biographical information on the Crandall and Denslow families, contact the Monrovia Historical Museum Foundation.  A fee will be charged for access to the information.

monroviahistoricalmuseum.org

monroviahistoricalmuseum@gmx.co


Barry

George & Harriet

Birthdate:

11 Oct 146

Birthplace:

Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

Occupation:

Newspaper Publisher

Properties Owned:

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George Barry was born in October 11, 1846 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania,  and his wife Harriet was born in Wisconsin in 1885. Census records  indicate they were 19 years old when they got married, which would have  around 1904. It is unclear when they came to California, but Charles F.  Davis reports in his book History of Monrovia that the Barrys came to  Monrovia from Ventura, most likely to join A.E. Cronenwett in the  publishing of the new Monrovia newspaper the Monrovia News.

Specifically,  Cronenwett had established the paper in 1903 and involved Harriet Barry  with the editorial department, specializing in society news (Wiley  92).  Cronenwett sold the paper to the Monrovia Publishing Company,  which had been formed in October of 1906 specifically to take over the  Monrovia News.  The officers of the company were A.P. Seymour,  president; Paran F. Rice, vice president; Hugh Sutherland, treasurer;  and George A. Barry, secretary.  Barry also served as editor and manager  of the paper, while his wife did much of the writing.

The  location of the Monrovia News was originally on East Olive, but around  1911, it was changed to 115 E. Lime Avenue, and the Barrys lived there,  as well as working there.  At this time, the newspaper was renamed the  Monrovia Daily News.

The 1908-1909 Monrovia directory has them  living at the La Vista Grande Hotel.  In 1910, they were living  somewhere on South Myrtle, and in 1911, they are listed at the 115 E.  Lime address where they lived for many years.

Besides the News,  the Barrys also put out the following publications: the Weekly  Monrovian, Pacific Poultry Craft, and Harriet’s specialty, "California  Woman’s Bulletin."

The Barrys were also active in the community.   In 1909, George Barry was nominated to act as officer and director of  the Board of Trade (Los Angeles Herald, May 17, 1909), and Harriet Barry  was an active member of the Saturday Afternoon Club.

According  to his own account, Charles F. Davis arrived in Monrovia shortly before  World War I and was associated for a short time with the Barrys  publications, but he left the Monrovia Daily News in 1919.  The Barrys  carried on with a small staff until 1922, when they sold the paper to  C.C. Howard.  They continued living in at least part of the brick  structure at 115 E. Lime because their address changes to 115 ½ E. Lime.  

No death dates have so far been found for them.

The  Barrys had two sons: Richard Hayes, born September 21, 1881, who became an  author and lived most of his life in New York.  He married a women named  Elizabeth, and there seems to have been no children from this  marriage.  Their other son, Griffin Randolph, wrote and also worked  overseas for the American Red Cross.  He married Dora Winifred Black,  and they had two children, Roderick and Harriet.  No death date has been  discovered yet for Richard, but Griffin died of an aneurysm in London,  England in 1957.

Beer

Lewis Joseph

Birthdate:

1830

Birthplace:

1889

Occupation:

Baker

Properties Owned:

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Lewis Joseph Beer was born in Switzerland around 1830 and married his wife, Carrie Wenzin, there.


They emigrate to the United States and show up in the 1860 census living in Sharon, Le Seur, Minnesota, where Louis Beer works as a farmer. He and his wife have two children, Bridget and Louisa, who are both born in Minnesota.


The family doesn’t show up in the 1870 census, but there is a naturalization record for Lewis from Minnesota in 1870. Additionally, Lewis’s wife disappears from the records, and he marries a woman named Mary somewhere around 1870.


By 1880, the Beer family is listed as living in El Monte Township, and he is working as a farmer. However, they soon move to Duarte to farm.


As the City of Monrovia becomes established in 1886, Beer invests in several pieces of property in the Town of Monrovia Subdivision, including Lots 8, 9 & 10 of Block H.  Beer moves his family to Monrovia, buying the Pioneer Bakery and most likely living above the bakery. However, things don’t go well. He becomes overextended financially and has problems with his marriage.  By this time, his daughters have left home to be married, but his financial problems don’t improve and neither do relations with his wife.


So in late April of 1889, Lewis Beer drowns himself in a reservoir in Monrovia leaving a note that explains his intention.


It is unknown if his wife continues to live in Monrovia, but the family holds on to the Monrovia property before selling to Josiah Holcomb Gray, an El Monte resident, in 1894. Gray and Beer had previously been joint owners of Lot 15, Block A,  and it is likely they knew each other previously in El Monte.


The Beer family keeps Lots 8, 9, & 10 in Block H until, in 1896, they sell Lot 8 to a speculator named T.J. Martin who owns other property in Monrovia. But he only owns the property for one year and he lives in Los Angeles, not Monrovia, so his interest would only have been speculative.

Bicknell

John D.

Birthdate:

25 June 1838

Birthplace:

Chittendon, Vermont

Occupation:

Lawyer

Properties Owned:

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Bicknell’s life is a classic one of the early California settler. He was born in the East, left farming, tried teaching, joined a wagon train, had adventures and ended up in Los Angeles an extremely successful and wealthy man.


Nathaniel and Fanny Thompson Bicknell, farmers, were the parents of John Dustin Bicknell. When Bicknell was 15, the family moved to Jefferson County, Wisconsin, and the family continued to farm. With these experiences in farming, John Bicknell decided it was the last job he would want, and he went to teacher's college to obtain a teaching credential.  He then went to Missouri and taught for two years, long enough for him to realize that he didn’t care for that job either. He joined a wagon train that took six months to get from Missouri to Knight’s Landing in Northern California. He taught school again until gold was discovered in Montana, and off he went.


Golf mining didn’t work out for him either, so he returned to Wisconsin to further his education. He received a law degree and was admitted to the Supreme Court of Wisconsin.


He married a widow with one child, and, in 1872, the family came to Los Angeles. Bicknell started a law firm, and, over the years, he was a member of several law firms, each one more successful than the last. He specialized in land titles and corporate matters. With the land boom on, Bicknell was an extremely busy and wealthy man.


He was an attorney for the Southern Pacific Railroad and helped Howard E. Huntington establish inter-urban railroads. He also acted as vice-president for the First National Bank and was President of the Western Union Oil Company. Then, when William N. Monroe was serving on the Los Angeles City Council, the two met.


Bicknell had already invested in property in the City of Los Angeles, so when Monroe approached him about forming a consortium (the Monrovia Land and Water Company) to buy property in the San Gabriel Valley on land owned by Elias J. Baldwin. Without the money and Judge Bicknell’s high profile in Los Angeles, Monrovia might not have been founded. Though well off financially, none of the other four men, including Monroe, had the standing that would convince people to invest in the new community. Bicknell joined Monroe, Jeremiah Falvey, James Crank, and Edward F. Spence to establish the City of Monrovia in 1886.


Besides buying land together, members of the consortium also purchased land separately with the intent to add their parcels to the original Monrovia Tract.  John D. Bicknell's purchase of a section of Rancho Azusa de Duarte extended the Monrovia Tract to the land between California (then known as Daffodil) and Shamrock Avenue and the north side of Colorado (then Orange Avenue). The description of the property Bicknell purchased is this: Subdivisions of Lots 5, 12C, 13 in Section 25 T I N R 11 W SB M as shown on map of subdivision of the Rancho Azusa de Duarte.


Judge Bicknell continued to involve himself in the development of early Monrovia though he continued to live Los Angeles and attend to his very busy law practice.  Bicknell retired in 1907.



Bicknell, Thomas Williams,. History and genealogy of the Bicknell family : and some collateral lines, of Normandy, Great Britain and America, comprising some ancestors and many descendants of Zachary Bicknell from Barrington, Somersetshire, England, 1635. Providence: Bicknell, 1913.292

Blair

Luther Reed

Birthdate:

July 17, 1849

Birthplace:

Ohio

Occupation:

Architect

Properties Owned:

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Luther Reed Blair was born on July 17, 1849 to James Blair, a farmer,  and his second wife, Elizabeth Morrow.  Census records show the Blairs  were a large family with at least 13 children, and Luther was the  youngest.


Un-sourced family tree records on Ancestry.com give  the following information about James Blair.  He was born on November  21, 1790 in Guinston, York County, Pennsylvania, to Robert Blair, and  Irish immigrant and Jean Allison, a Pennsylvania native.  He married  Nancy Wallace in 1823 in Beaver County, Pennsylvania.  They moved to  Ohio and James started farming and Nancy started having children, the  first being born in 1824.  In total, they had five children (that  lived...there could have been more!) in 10 years, and Nancy died in  1834, about a year after her last child was born.


The un-sourced  records indicate that James Blair married Elizabeth Morrow in the same  year his wife died, 1834.  James and Elizabeth's first child was born in  1836 and died within that same year.  They went on to have the  following children: Alexander (b. 10 Aug 1837 d. 5 Dec 1918), Samuel  Farmer (b. 10 April 1839 d. 15 Sep 1923) David Humphries (b. 21 Apr 1841  d. 16 May 1904, Joseph (b. 10 May 1843-?), Moses Morrow (b. 10 Mar 1845  d. 3 Aug 1864), Elizabeth Jane (b. 5 Feb 1847 d. 17 Feb 1890), and  Luther Reed.


Census records indicate that sometime between 1839  and 1841, the Blairs moved from Carroll County to Bellfontaine in Logan  County, Ohio, where the last five of the Blair children, including  Luther were born.


Military records from the Civil War show that  Luther's full brothers Alexander, Samuel, David, Joseph and Moses served  in the Union Army.  Moses died in 1864, but Samuel survived the war,  married, had two children and went on to become a physician.  David was  discharged from the military in 1865 for medical reasons.  He married,  had five children, became a minister of the Gospel, but his health gave  out again and he went into the U.S. Homes for Disabled Volunteer  Soldiers in 1894.  The 1900 census shows him still living there.   


Alexander was discharged as a sergeant.  He married, had five children  and became a farmer.  After leaving the army, Joseph got married in  Kansas, had three children and worked as a carpenter for about 20 years  before moving to Colorado.

In 1876, Luther Blair married a woman  named Ada who was born in Massachusetts in August of 1853.  Census  records show that three years later, they were living in Denver,  Colorado, where Luther was a carpenter.  The first three of their seven  children were born there: Agnes (b. 8 Jul 1879 d. 26 Feb 1954), Winona  M. (b. Nov 1881 d. ?), and Charles Andrew (b. 15 Nov 1885-d. ?).   Because there is no census available for 1890, it is difficult to  ascertain when the family arrived in Los Angeles.  However, there next  child, Rosa E., was born in March of 1887 in California.  Three more  children were born by 1896: Nellie Irene (b. 15 Sep 1888 d. 27 June  1940), Lena M. (b. September 1889 d. ?), and Annie A. (b. July 1896 d.  ?).

The first recorded address for the Blairs appears in the 1900  census at 1331 Berndost Street in Los Angeles. They were still there in  1910.  Luther continued working as a contractor during the years he  spent in California.

It is unknown when either he or his wife died.

Agnes married a man whose last name was Morrison.  She died in Santa Clarita in 1954.

Winona  became a pharmacist and married Albert P. Nielson. They had two  children, Torvald and Clifford.  It is unclear if they ever married or  had children.  Torvald died in 1984 and Clifford in 1982.  Winona  appears in the 1910 census but not the 1920 one, so she must have died  some time in those years.

Rosa married Joe Walton, a policeman.   They had no children and Mr. Walton died before 1930. Rosa shows up in  the 1930 census living with her two nephews, Torvald and Clifford  Nielsen.  The date of her death is unknown at this time.

Nellie  also married a policeman, Henry S. Boardman. They lived in Manhattan  Beach, California, and had two children, Margaret (born in 1823) and  Ralph (1926).  Nellie died June 27, 1940.  There is no further  information at this time about her children or her husband's date of  death.


Lena lived for a short time with Nellie and worked as an  exchange clerk at a department store.  Both sisters had previously  worked as sales clerks in a department store while they were still  living with their parents. No other information is available at this  time for Lena Blair.


Luther Blair's last child, Annie A., is last  seen in the 1910 census when she was 14.  No death information is  available for her.


For more detailed biographical information on the Crandall and Denslow families, contact the Monrovia Historical Museum Foundation.  A fee will be charged for access to the information.

monroviahistoricalmuseum.org

monroviahistoricalmuseum@gmx.co

Bradbury

Lewis Leonard

Birthdate:

1823

Birthplace:

Bangor, Maine

Occupation:

Real Estate

Properties Owned:

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Sections of Rancho Azusa de Duarte were purchased by L.L. Bradbury.  The part of Bradbury’s life  that he spent on Rancho Azusa de Duarte and the founding of Monrovia are closely entwined.  Without Bradbury, it is doubtful Monrovia would have the configuration it does today.  Without Monrovia, Bradbury wouldn’t have been able to add more money to his already healthy bank account.


Lewis Leonard Bradbury was born in Bangor, Maine, around 1823.  Accounts of his life are slim from his birth to the 1860s when he went to Rosario, Sinaloa, Mexico, and made his money in the silver mines of Mexico.  Off course, he didn’t actually sweat in the mines, but he did bring American dollars to invest in them.  At the age of 45, he married a Mexican woman, Simona Martinez, who was over 20 years younger than he and spoke no English.


The family moved to Oakland, California, in 1880, and they split their lives between Mexico, Oakland and Rancho Azusa de Duarte which Bradbury had bought in 1883.


Bradbury made even more money in California in real estate. One of his most famous legacies is the Bradbury Building, built in 1893. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and has been designation as a National Historic Landmark, one of only four office buildings in Los Angeles to get that designation. Bradbury also left the town of Bradbury, Monrovia’s neighbor.


Lewis Bradbury and Monrovia had a close and contentious relationship for the first ten years of Monrovia’s existence.  Bradbury had sold a section of the western part of Rancho Azusa de Duarte to the Monrovia Land and Water Company, the consortium that 

had assembled the Monrovia Tract from Bradbury land and sections of the Santa Anita Subdivision.  That transaction went well.  It was the last one between Monrovia and Bradbury to do so.


Bradbury also owned land south of Foothill Boulevard that had been part of Rancho Azusa de Duarte.  The western boundary of his property included land on both sides of the Santa Fe railroad tracks and west of South Myrtle Avenue. He established a town site there, calling it West Duarte around the same time Monrovia was founded (1886).  There were stores and a hotel, and the railroad station serving Monrovia but which was referred to as the West Duarte Station.  There were bad feelings about this by Monrovians, so some began referring to Duarte as East Monrovia.  West Duarte didn’t do well, and the stores and hotel building were moved north into the Town of Monrovia.  Bradbury then subdivided his land in 1887 which became Bradbury’s Addition to the Town of Monrovia (Wiley 53).  Though he didn’t get his railroad, he still made a great amount of money.

In June of 1887, Bradbury, assisted with capital from some Monrovians, started the Myrtle Avenue Railway, which was a mule-drawn trolley that carried passengers from the train station up Myrtle Avenue, right on Lime Avenue past the Vista Grande Hotel, over to Heliotrope Avenue, then north to White Oak (Foothill Blvd.) and back down South Myrtle.  At the same time, William Monroe was working with Howard Huntington trying to establish an electric rail from Los Angeles which would go through Monrovia.  For this and other reasons (the mules), the company went out of business in 1890 (Monrovia Messenger 23 Oct 1890).


On 13 Aug 1887, the Monrovia Planet reported that a group of Monrovians bought 50 acres from the Bradbury Tract adjoining Monrovia on the east.  The price paid was $75,000.  


In October of 1887,the Town of  Monrovia and Bradbury went head to head again.  In the Monrovia Planet, Bradbury placed a terse notice that read:  Notice is hereby given that the petition to incorporate the town of Monrovia, including several hundred acres of my land in the Duarte Rancho cannot succeed (15 Oct 1887).  Incorporation was important to Monrovia because of the people preferred to have a “dry” town where no alcohol was served (except, perhaps in the hotel) commercially.  The next month, Bradbury’s agent reported to the Monrovia Planet that Bradbury’s intent was to block Monrovia’s incorporation only if it included parts of his property.  Perhaps the boundary lines had not clearly been established.  Perhaps the purchase of Bradbury’s property by different people had not been recorded property.  Whatever the reason, one may be sure that the attorneys for both sides made money.  Eventually things were settled, and Monrovia was able to incorporate.  

 

Legal battles also ensued over water rights and many other property rights issues.  Bradbury had an incredible amount of money for the time, but Monroe, E.F. Spence and John D. Bicknell had connections in Los Angeles.  Spence had been mayor of Los Angeles, and Bicknell was a well-known and respected judge. Monroe had been a Los Angeles City councilman, and then there was his friendship with the powerful Huntington family.


How long this would have gone on if Lewis Bradbury had lived is anyone’s guess.  But he died suddenly in Oakland on July 15, 1892. 


Sources

Bradbury Family Papers a Mexican-American Family’s Story, 1875-1965.  UC Davis Library, 2018, www.library.ucdavis.edu/exhibit/bradbury-family-papers-mexican-american-familys-story-1876-1965/.  

Monrovia Messenger

Monrovia Planet.

Wiley, John L.  History of Monrovia. Press of Pasadena Star News, 1927.

Chess

William Albert

Birthdate:

9 Jun 1853

Birthplace:

Near Brownsville, Michigan

Occupation:

Banker

Properties Owned:

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According to John Wiley's book History of Monrovia, W.A.  Chess, after a public school education, clerked in his father's general  store.  At that time, he was 17 years old, but he soon decided he wanted  to continue his education in commercial law and business at Clinton,  Iowa.  He then returned to Michigan and worked in Cassopolis, Michigan.   On November 22, 1888, he married Mary (Minnie) B. Smith.


He and  his wife moved to western Kansas to work in the sheep business.  He was  joined there by his brother Edward.  In 1885, the brothers started a new  enterprise, an animal feed store in Garden City, Kansas.


Based on  the good news about Monrovia from a younger brother, Frank, the Chess  family closed out their feed business, packed up, and came to Monrovia  in 1887.


W.A. Chess worked as a bookkeeper at the First National  Bank and then later as a cashier when the back consolidated with the  Security Trust and Savings Bank in 1924.  After 35 years of banking,  Chess retired in 1925.   William was not only very adept at finance, but  also a poet and  essayist.  He assembled some of his work in a book, Fireside Fragments.


Chess  also served as Monrovia's deputy assessor, compiling the towns first  assessment.  Additionally, he served as town treasurer from 1894 to  1896.  He was also involved in civic groups and served on the library  and park commissions.


William and Minnie Chess had two children:  Claude Smith, who had a radio business in the early years of the last  century, and Edna A. who taught art at Monrovia High School.  Claude  married Kathleen Berry, and they had one child, Robert William.  Claude  Chess lived almost all his life in Monrovia, dying on July 30, 1960.


Edna Anita Chess never married and died in 1952.


His  first house was on Ivy Avenue, his second at 301 W. White Oak (now  Foothill) Avenue, where the Aztec Hotel stands today.  He was encouraged  by the city to move to a house at 153 Highland Place because it was  felt the city needed another hotel.  He lived in the Highland Place  house until his death in 1937.


Minnie continued to live in the house for some years after William's death.  She died in 1944.

Clark

Byron E.

Birthdate:

November 1860

Birthplace:

Douglas County, Kansas

Occupation:

Landlord

Properties Owned:

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Byron E. Clark was the first born child to Samuel L. and Leanora J. Market Clark who were farming in Kansas.  By 1880, the family, which numbered five children, had moved to Kansas, Missouri, where Samuel Clark either owned or was working in a feed store.


In 1885, Byron Clark marries Margaret Elzabeth Proebstel, and they move to Palms, California to farm.  Palms had just be founded as a town and was being marketed for agriculture and as a vacation destination.  Palms had been part of Rancho Ballona.  The 1890-1900  California Voter Registration list record Byron Clark as living in Ballona, but it is unclear if he and Margaret  moved to another section or if the area they were in was renamed.  Ballona morphed into the cities of Playa del Rey and Marian del Rey.


Margaret and Byron had five children while they were living in Ballona: Abigail Eliza  (1886-1929),  Leonora J. (1892-1979), Samuel Gilbert (1896-1944}, Anna May (1899-1990), Emma L. (1900-1981).


It is unknown how those to come to Monrovia,  but they definitely came with a plan. They buy Lot 21, Block B of the Town of Monrovia Subdivision.  They build a two-story structure that they intend to use a boarding house (furnished rooms) and, with their children,  moved into it in 1908.  City directories up to the time the structure was torn down for a parking lot show that the building remained in use as apartments.


The city directory lists Byron  Clark as a rancher, not a landlord.  However the entry maybe  indicating that Clark's former occupation was as a rancher.  Tax how that Clark owns no other property other than 133 E. Lime Avenue.


Clark's parents had moved back to Kansas from Missouri.  Census records indicate Samuel Clark was farming in 1900, but he was already 69 years old.  His wife dies in 1905, so as soon as son Byron opens his boarding house, Samuel moves from Kansas to Monrovia to live with his son.  Samuel dies in 1913.


Byron and Margaret's children,  Abigail, Leonora, Samuel, Anna, and Emma grow up in Monrovia, attending Monrovia schools. They all married and moved away from Monrovia.


Byron and Margaret continued running the boarding house until Margaret's death in 1921.  After that, Byron moved to Anaheim to live with his daughter Anna May and her husband, Oscar P. Wangler.  Byron died in 1936, and was brought back to Monrovia to be buried at Live Oak Cemetery.


Cleminson

John Devine

Birthdate:

14 Feb 1870

Birthplace:

San Bernardino County, California

Occupation:

Properties Owned:

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The Clemenson family arrived in El Monte from San Bernardino in 1873, but they had been struggling in California for much longer than that.  In 1852, the family arrived in San Diego after a long wagon train trip from Missouri.  They then moved to San Bernardino.


James Devine Cleminson was born February 14, 1870, in San Bernardino.  His father, also named James, decides farming isn’t working well for the family, so they move to El Monte and meet the Gray family.   Eventually, James Devine becomes a partner with his father in ranching and developing a dairy farm. He also invests in real estate in Monrovia and continues to hold it for a number of years without building on it.


James D. Cleminson married Elizabeth Lulu Caldwell, granddaughter of Josiah Gray in 1893.

Besides the dairy farm, Cleminson branches out in other endeavors, becomes wealthier, rises to a position of prominence in El Monte, and buys 46 acres north of El Monte, just outside the Monrovia City Limits.  He dies, in El Monte, on July 27, 1939.


Sources

1860 United States Federal Census.  Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com Inc.  2009.  Provo, Utah.

1870 United States Federal Census.  Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com Inc.  2009.  Provo, Utah.

1880 United States Federal Census.  Ancestry.com.  Ancestry.com Inc.  2009.  Provo, Utah

1900 United States Federal Census.  Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com Inc.  2009.  Provo, Utah

1910 United States Federal Census.  Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com Inc.  2009.  Provo, Utah.

1920 United States Federal Census.  Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com Inc.  2009.  Provo, Utah.

1930 United States Federal Census.  Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com Inc.  2009.  Provo, Utah.

California, County Birth, Marriage, and Death Records, 1849-1980.  Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.  2017. Lehi, UT, USA.

CaGenWebProject. http://www.cagenweb.com/re/losangeles/ElMonteBios/CLEMINSON_JamesD.htm

California, Death Index, 1905-1939.Ancestry.com.  Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.  2013.

California Department of Public Health, courtesy of www.vitalsearch-worldwide.com. Digital Images.

California Voter Registers: 1882, 1884, 1888:  California State Library, California History Section; Great Registers, 1866-1898; Collection Number: 4 - 2A; CSL Roll Number: 19; FHL Roll Number: 976928.

City of Monrovia Tax Records 1896-1901.  Monrovia City Hall.              415 S. Ivy Ave., Monrovia, California

U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.  Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com, Operations, Inc., 2011.  Provo, UT, USA.

Collins

Anna Katherine

Birthdate:

23 Jan 1866

Birthplace:

Illinois

Occupation:

Principal

Properties Owned:

noun_person_3324299.png

Anna Katherine, who used the name "Kate" and the signature "A. Katherine", was the daughter of wealthy farmers.  She was the third of four children: Mary Adeline, Ansley Harvey, Kate, and Emma.  But Kate's mother, died in 1869 and her father in 1871.


Census and early directories don't have much information on where Kate was before coming to California, but some informationis available from an online biography of David Stoner who married Kate's older sister, Mary Adeline.  That biography states that the Collins children were separated and sent to live with relatives of strangers.  Mary was sent to Iowa where she met and married David Stoner; they eventually came to Ontario, California, in 1891.  Mary, with her husband, was the first of the Collins family to come to California, so Kate had family in the area in 1896 when she came to Monrovia to work as a teacher.  Her brother  Ainsley was sent to Indiana and then went to college in Iowa where he met and married; he and his wife were in Pasadena, California, by 1900.  Emma was sent to Nebraska, married and stayed in the midwest.


Tax records indicate that Kate Collins purchased the property at 131 E. Lime Avenue and built a house on it in 1904.  However, she didn't live there.   Kate Collins first appears in a Monrovia city directory in 1908.  The address given as  135  which is not likely correct.  In 1911, she is living at 210 W. Lime Avenue, a boarding house, and is principal at Orange Avenue School.  The next entry is in 1913, and she is living 145 N. Myrtle Avenue.   Previously, Kate Collins had been working as a teacher, but the 1913 directory records her as being the principal at Wild Rose Elementary School.  

  

The 1920 census records Kate Collins has finally moved into the house she had built on Lot 20.  Sometime before 1920, Kate Collins adopted a daughter.  The census record records that the little girl was born around 1910 or 1911 and that both her parents were from Scotland.  


The two continue to live together at 131 E. Lime until Kate Collins' death in 1945.  Catherine Collins continued living in the house until at least 1948.  Directories record that Catherine continued living in Monrovia working as a bookkeeper until at least 1970.  

Collins

E.W.

Birthdate:

Birthplace:

Occupation:

Properties Owned:

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According to tax records, E.W. Collins owned Lot 14, Thomas Wardall's Orange Grove Subdivision from 1907-1909.  The tax records for these years are confusing.  Collins is showns as the first owner of the property and the house in 1907.  I am unable to find out anything about him.  But there is another entry for the same property without the house in the name of Ditler L. Nielson. The separate duplicate entries continue for 1908.  Also in 1908, E.W. Collins is delinquent in paying his taxes.


After this, the owner of the property is Montague H. Graham.

Crandall

Walter A.

Birthdate:

19 Mar 1842

Birthplace:

Watson, Lewis, New York

Occupation:

Merchant

Properties Owned:

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William Aaron Crandall was born 19 March 1842 in Watson, Lewis County, New York, John Miller and Clarissa (Ward) Crandall.  His father was a wealthy wealthy lumber miller.  There were six other children in addition to William, but he was the only one to leave New York.


In 1863, William Crandall went into the Union Army as a private.  He survived the war and married Anna Eugenia Denslow (b 1848) whom he had known in Watson.  She had become a school teacher, and they married in South Bend, Joseph, Indiana, on 30 December 1868.  According to Anna Denslow's obituary, they then went by covered wagon to Spruce City, Iowa, and then Des Moines, Iowa.  


Census records indicate William and Anna were trying to farm, but by 1880, the Crandalls are in Sioux City, Iowa, and William is selling sewing machines.  The 1885 Iowa census lists him as a merchant.


The  first mention of W.A. Crandall living in Monrovia is an announcement in  the Monrovia Messenger on February 7 1889, identifying Crandall as  coming from Sioux City, Iowa, and having bought the tinning business of  Woods Brothers and moving it to the Badeau Block.  It also states that  Crandall is going to carry jewelry in addition to tinware.  The February  21, 1889,  issue gives his occupation as a jeweler and describes his shop in  the Badeau Block as having jewelry and watches on one side, while the  other side has hardware, tinware, and plumbing supplies.  He has a  plumber and tinsmith who work for him. Another issue (October 17)  identifies Henry Ritter as the employee who is working for Crandall as a  plumber and tinner.


Another article in the April 18, 1889  edition of the Monrovia Messenger, states that Crandall is having an  addition built on his home on Lime (235 E. Lime Ave.) and making other  improvements about the place.  In September (12), the newspaper reports  that Crandall has added a barn to his property.


In 1890, Crandall  moves his store across the street into the Johnson Block (Monrovia  Messenger, January 30, 1890).  Crandall was also on the board of  directors of the Gregory Oil Company.  Crandall continued working at his  hardware business until his death on May 3, 1910.


In addition  to his house at 235 E. Lime Avenue, Crandall and his wife also owned  the property to the west of them, 229 E. Lime Avenue (Lot 20) and to the  west of them 237-239 E. Lime (Lot 22).  They built a small house at 229  E. Lime and used it as rental.  A larger house was built at 239 E.  Lime, and Annie Crandall's nephew, Warren Herbert Denslow,  purchased it  after Mr. Crandall died.


The Crandalls never had children, so  it is likely that Warren Denslow and his family moved next door to keep  an eye on Annie Crandall as she was 62 years old when her husband  died.  Both Denslow, a plumber, and Annie Crandall built additional  structures on their properties to use as rentals.


Annie E.  Crandall died on January 31, 1935 in Monrovia.  Both she and her husband  are buried in Live Oak Memorial Park in Monrovia, California.


For more detailed biographical information on the Crandall and Denslow families, contact the Monrovia Historical Museum Foundation.  A fee will be charged for access to the information.

monroviahistoricalmuseum.org

monroviahistoricalmuseum@gmx.com

Denslow

Warren H.

Birthdate:

1 Jul 1887

Birthplace:

Le Mars, Iowa

Occupation:

Properties Owned:

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Warren Denslow was one of nine children born to Ezekiel, a farmer, and Alice Denslow.  After a few years, the family moved from Iowa to Minnehaha, South Dakota, to farm there.


The Crandalls and Denslows were not only intertwined by family, but they also lived together and later on either side of their grand aunt Anna Eugenia Crandall.  Warren's father's sister Anna Eugenia and her husband William A. Crandall had moved to Monrovia in the 1890s and bought Lot 21 in Block A of the Town of Monrovia Subdivision.  They built a home, and when addresses began to be used in 1908, the address of the home was 235 E. Lime Avenue.  In 1893,  they purchased the lot next to them, Lot 22. 


Warren's father Ezekiel died in 1897, and Warren moved out to California around 1907, living with his aunt and helping his uncle in his hardware store.  He most likely lived in the small house at the boack of Lot 22 that his aunt and uncle had built.  On 30 June 1917, he married Zetta Angie Mead (5 Apr 1892 Kansas).  Warren Denslow built up a successful plumbing business, and in 1923, he built a Craftsman bungalow on Lot 22, next to his aunt and uncle's home.


Warren and Zetta had three daughters.  The first Bethel Louise (2 Jun 1916 Monrovia - 29 Jul 1998 Oregon) married Raymond Wells and lived in her grand-aunt's house (235 E. Lime) next door to where she herself grew up.  They lived there until at least 1948.  Bethel died in Linn, Oregon, in 1998


The second daughter, Lillian Grace, lived at 239 E. Lime Avenue until she married Oscar Janeway in 1947.  Lillian died in Whittier, California, in 2020.


The third daughter, Evelyn, lived in her grand-aunt's until sometime after 1930 when she moved in with the rest of the family at 239 E. Lime.  She lived there until she married John Loring Hawks in 1948.  After their marriage they still lived close by at 233 E. Lime Avenue.  Evelyn died in 2005 in West Covina.


After raising their children in the house at 239 E. Lime, the Denslows continued to live in the house, looking out after aging Aunt Anna Crandall until she died.  Warren and his wife continued to live in the house until Warren's death in 1977.  His wife sold the house.

Duarte

Andreas

Birthdate:

1895

Birthplace:

San Juan Capistrano

Occupation:

Properties Owned:

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Andres Avelino Duarte was born at the Mission San Juan Capistrano in 1805.  He went into the army as his father had  Eventually, he was assigned to Mission San Gabriel.  He married Maria Gertrudes Florentina Valenzuela around 1827.


In 1841, Andres Duarte retired from the military and submitted a petition to Governor Juan Alvarado for land in the upper San Gabriel Valley.  What he received was 6,596-acres of land that included parts of Arcadia, Monrovia, Irwindale, Azusa, Baldwin Park, and all of Bradbury and Duarte.  In Duarte, he built an adobe on the property and lived in it with his family.  


From 1846-1848, Mexico and its territories were at war with the United States, a war which Mexico lost.  The territories Mexico had owned, including California, became part of the United States.  This was one of the nails in the coffin of the ranchos of California.  


Their Spanish and Mexican owners had to prove they owned the land they had lived on for decades.  The Mexican records were, of course in Spanish.  Many of the rancho owners spoke no English.  Some of the records were missing.  Lawyers had to be hired.  Duarte, along with many others, filed a claim for his property.  And like many of the other rancho owners, Duarte experienced a constant drain on his finances which necessitated selling off parcels of his land.  After the first large sale of 220 acres, Duarte divided most of the rest into 40-acres lots and sold them off to the much of the remainder of the rancho into 40-acre lots and sold them individually. Even though Duarte finally got the patent for his rancho in 1878, it was too late; he had sold off the entire rancho.  The approximate location of the property at 411 E. Olive Avenue has been marked in Lot 5 of Section 25. 

Graves

Cora M.

Birthdate:

Unknown

Birthplace:

Unknown

Occupation:

Homemaker

Properties Owned:

noun_person_3324299.png

We are unable to establish an exact identity for Cora M. Graves.  There is no evidence she lived in Monrovia.  There is evidence of a Cora M. Calvin who married Walter Graves in 1901, but they live in Long Beach all their lives.

Gray

Josiah Holcomb

Birthdate:

1824

Birthplace:

Georgia

Occupation:

Rancher

Properties Owned:

noun_person_3324299.png

Josiah H. Gray  was an early resident of El Monte.  Voter  registration shows him living in El Monte by 1869, and he may have developed a  relationship with the Beer family when they lived in El Monte in 1880.  Gray became a partner with Beer in the  ownership of a lot across the street from Beer’s in Block A in the Town of  Monrovia Subdivision in 1888.  When Beer  died, Gray assumed the ownership of Beer's in Lot H.  Since Beer was having financial problems, the  transfer may have been part of a financial settlement between the Beer and the  Gray families.


Originally  from Georgia (born 1824), Josiah marries Martha Bradley in Arkansas, and, in  1854, they have one child, Minnie, before Martha dies in 1856.   In 1857,  Josiah marries Louisiana Bradley.  Though  she has the same name as Martha, there seems to have been no close relationship  (such as sisters) between the two.


In spite of  Josiah being born in Georgia and living in Arkansas, he joins the Union army as  a corporal and serves with the 2nd Regiment, US Sharpshooters (Regular Army),  leaving the army as a sergeant.  When he  gets home, life in Arkansas is problematic.   His farm has been unattended for four years, and Louisiana and two of  his four children have died.   However, he  soon finds comfort in the arms of a Civil War widow, Elizabeth Cartledge, and  marries her in 1865.


Even so,  living in the South and having served in the Union army does not make him  popular with his neighbors, so he sells his neglected farm and moves to El  Monte, California.

It is unclear  when he arrived in El Monte, but the 1869 California Voter Registration list  records him living in El Monte and wrking as a farmer.  The move turns out to be extremely fortuitous.


One year  later, the 1870 census reports that he is working as a rancher with real estate  valued at $3,000 and personal estate valued at $1100.  By this time, he has three children: Minnie,  from his wife Martha, and Henry and Charles, his children from Louisiana.  Over the next few years, he has two more  children with Elizabeth Cartledge, Lee (1870-1932) and Alice (1875-1964).


As  previously  stated, Gray and Beer had been real estate partners in 1888.In that  same year, 1888, Gray moves to Maricopa County, Arizona, where  one of his married daughters is living.   They continue owning property together until Beer’s death in 1889.


On  Josiah  Gray’s death in 1892, his family sells the property in Block H, Lot 8  and Block A, Lot 15 of the Town of Monrovia Subdivision to another  long-time El  Monte resident, James Divine Cleminson.   Cleminson also happens to be the husband of Josiah Gray’s  granddaughter.


For more detailed biographical information on the Crandall and Denslow families, contact the Monrovia Historical Museum Foundation.  A fee will be charged for access to the information.

monroviahistoricalmuseum.org

monroviahistoricalmuseum@gmx.co

Hall

Assyria "Cy"

Birthdate:

25 Jan 1841

Birthplace:

Virginia

Occupation:

Properties Owned:

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Assyra (Assyria) "Cy" Hall was the son of a successful farmer whose family moved from Virginia to Indiana where he met and married his wife Lillian (Lulu Cain) in 1868.  Details on his early life are scarce, but tax records show him to be successful.


By 1870, he and Lulu are living in Park, Colorado Territory, and he is working as a the county sheriff with real estate valued at $5,000 and a personal estate of $2,000.  They move to Fairplay and then Denver, Colorado where Assyra invests in mining, quite successfully until at least 1910.


Assyria "Cy" Hall does not live in Monrovia for very long.  He does buy Lt 18 in Block A of the Town of Monrovia in 1909, and builds a house on it that has an address of 223 E. Lime Avenue.  The 1913 Sanford map shows a large house built on Lot 18, and Assyria is listed as there for the same year.  Cy dies in 1917.  


Though there aren't any directory entries for his wife, but the 1920 census Lulu as living at 223 E. Lime with her sister and brother-in-law.  


They never have children, but they seem to have been close to their niece, Lillian Cain, who lives with them in 1910 in Colorado.  Lillian marries Lloyd Ray Parkhurst in Oregon in 1911, but they move down to line one lot away from Lillian's aunt and uncle at 229 E. Lime.  Lloyd gets a job as nurseryman.  Work must not have been very profitable because Lloyd moves up to Idaho to farm while Lillian cotinues living at 229 E. Lime.  Lloyd returns to Monrovia within two years to live with Lillian.  He gets a job working at the Ferguson Marmalade Company.   


In the years between Cy and Lulu's deaths, the city directories record the Parkhursts living at 229 and 225 E. Lime.  They also continue to list Cy as living at 223 E. Lime even though he is dead, so it is difficult to follow the occupants of Lots 18-20.  When Lulu Hall dies in 1924, Lillian and Lloyd move to 223.  Around 1930, Lillian, Lloyd, and their son John Hiram returned to Oregon.  Lloyd died in 1940, and Lillian died in 1964.



Hannah

Alfred Reno

Birthdate:

1838

Birthplace:

Indiana

Occupation:

Properties Owned:

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There is very little information available on Alfred R. Hannah.  He married Emma Caroline Conningham in  July of 1869 in Illinois.  By 1884, Alfred and Emma are living in Pasadena and he is listed as a fruit grower.  In the 1884 and 1886 California Voter lists, his occuppation is listed as a "capitalist".


Alfred and Emma seem to have only one child, a daughter, who was born in 1891.  Her name was Alfreda Lilias.  They never  in Monrovia, and they only one the property for one year.  Seeing the property value going down, Hannah sales the property to William N. Monroe (founder of Monrovia) who owns it for one year and then sells it to "Heirs of E. F. Spence."  Edward F. Spence was one of the founders (along with Monroe, Jermiah Falvey, J.D. Bicknell, and James Crank) of Monrovia.

Hunter

James Elam

Birthdate:

9 Jan 1862

Birthplace:

Louisiana

Occupation:

Lawyer

Properties Owned:

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James Elam Hunter was the son of a wealthy farmer.  The 1970 U.S. census records Hunter's father as having real estate valued at $10,000 and personal estate of $17,000.  This is an enormous amount of money for post Civil War Texas.


The earliest record of Hunter being in Los Angeles is the voter registration list of 1888.  His occupation is listed as and attorney, and he is only 26 years old.  He may have brought from Texas to Southern California by the advertising for affordable, fertile land.  He buys Lot 19 in Block B of the Town of Monrovia Subdivision.


He pays Monrovian Charles E. Slosson to manage the property for him, but he only owns the property for three years.  The property values drop steadily from 1888.  By 1890, the First National Bank owns the property.  It is difficult to determine what the chain of ownership is from the tax records.  The bank owns the property from 1890 to 1897.  Then a woman named Adeline F. Wright owns the property, which is now valued at $75.  In 1898, she builds a house on the property.


Then from 1900-1901, James Hunter, owns the property again.  But since Hunter dies on February 19, 1899,  in Los Angeles, it isn't likely that the tax records are correct.  Adeline Wright appears in the tax records again as owning the property from 1902-1909.




 

King

Martha

Birthdate:

8 Oct 1804

Birthplace:

Chatta Farm, Bradley, Tennessee

Occupation:

Homemaker

Properties Owned:

noun_person_3324299.png

Though Mrs. Martha King owned Lot 16 in Block B on the Town of Monrovia from 1888-1903, we aren't sure exactly who she was.  There was a widow named Martha King living in El Monte, which is only around 10 miles away from Monrovia, but she died in 1886, the year Monrovia was founded.  Though a widow at her death, she did have family who remained living in El Monte farming, and her son Andrew Jackson King became very successful.  He was elected to the state legislature, became a Los Angeles city attorney, a judge, and founded the first newspaper in Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles Daily News.


So even though Martha King died in 1886, the family had enough money to keep the property in the estate until they decided to sell.  Tax records indicate that the taxes were paid by J.A. Wood or Woods of Pasadena.  


Martha Mee married Samuel King 1828, and they had five children.  They moved from Tennessee to Arkansas to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  They were in El Monte by 1852.  Three years later, her husband was involved in a shootout in El Monte, and two of her sons were arrested for the murder of the man who shot their father.  Two others of her adult children were dead by 1865.  Even so, she and her remaining family and their spouses did well in El Monte, and she purchased Lot 16 in Block B which was valued at $400 in 1888.  The property valued plummeted 



Large

Edwin P.

Birthdate:

July 1853

Birthplace:

Muskingum, Ohio

Occupation:

Merchant

Properties Owned:

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According to Biographical Sketches From an Illustrated History of Los  Angeles County, Edwin F. Large was born in July of 1853 to Andrew T.  Large and Sarah Hendrickson in Muskingum County, Ohio. Census records  show Andrew was born in New Jersey,  and he was a a builder and  carpenter.  Edwin’s mother, Sarah Hendrickson, was from Rhode Island.


The  family moved from Ohio to Monroe County, Wisconsin and stayed until  1865.  The family then moved to Chicago, where he, Edwin, worked for a  while with his father in their carpenter shop and then as a shipping  clerk at age 17 for F.H. Hill & Co.  After the Great Fire in 1871,  he used his carpenter skills in rebuilding Chicago.  The following year,  F.H. Hill went back into business, and Large returned as a clerk.


In  1866, Large came to Los Angeles County and settled in Pasadena doing  real estate.  By being in Pasadena, he was in a good position to observe  opportunities in other areas of the San Gabriel Valley, and he came to  Monrovia in the spring of 1886 to start the first furniture store.  John  Wiley’s book states Large started the store “...in 1887, one year after  the founding of the city,...” (179).  The History of Los Angeles County  (544) also indicates that Large’s store was the first furniture in  Monrovia; it opened in October of 1887.  The store, actually owned in  partnership with a man named Wheeler, was in the name of Large and  Wheeler.  It sold furniture, carpets, oil cloth, and other household  necessities.


The store was on property that  Large owned, the  north 28 1/3 feet of Lot 22, Block O in the Town of Monrovia  Subdivision.  The 1888 Sanborn map shows a two-storey structure here.   He also lived upstairs at this location, which is now 617 S. Myrtle.   Besides the store property, Large also owned property in Keefer’s Subdivision, and the  Monroe Addition (where he later built a house).


Large’s parents moved out to the West Coast, too, but they moved to San Diego.  His mother died there in 1888.


In  1888, Edwin Large married “Jeanette”  Beebee, daughter of Alonzo Beebee  (a resident and pioneer of Kendall County, Illinois) in 1878.   Jeannette was born in April of 1853.  The 1880 census shows Edwin as  married to “Jannette” and having one son, James, who was six at the time  of the census.


By 1887, Large and his family had moved into the housee  at 121 N. Myrtle Avenue which had been built for them.  He continued to be involved in Monrovia City events; in 1887, he was appointed one of the first school trustees.


Sometime  in the late 1890's or early 1900's, Large sold his property to move to  Los Angeles.  John J. Renaker and his sons moved their furniture and  undertaking businesses to this location Block O Lot 22 after their property at the  southeast corner of Colorado and Myrtle burned down in 1904.


By  1900, Large and his wife had moved to Los Angeles and lived their until  their deaths.  Edwin P. Large died September 17, 1922 at the age of 69  years.  His wife died on December 31, 1937, at the age of 84.  Though  the Larges had had three children, none survived childhood.


Harvey, J.W., ed. Monrovia Messenger Illustrated Souvenir Edition. Monrovia: J.W. Harvey, 1887. Print

Lowenthal

Myer M.

Birthdate:

30 Aug 1854

Birthplace:

Poland

Occupation:

Merchant

Properties Owned:

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From 1888 to 1913, the ownership of Lot 13, Block B in the Town of Monrovia Subdivision passes between Myer M. Lowenthal and Robert Green.  Some years they are both listed as owners.


Myer Michael Lowenthal and his family emigrate from Poland to the United States in about in 1868.  He grows up in San Francisco, his father Joseph working as a merchant.  In 1886, he marries Annie Siegal, a German immigrant, and they move to Los Angeles where Myer works at different jobs in sales.


It is most likely here that he meets Robert Green.  Neither Lowenthal or Green ever live in Monrovia, and it is Lowenthal who joins the land rush and first purchases Lot 13 in 1888.  At that time, the land is valued at $300, but in the next year, Lowenthal sees the value drop by half, and another $50 dollar drop in 1890.  It is then that Robert Green comes in as partner.


While Lowenthal is working in Los Angeles and watching his property drop further in value, he and Annie have one child, Edith.  However, by 1891, they are back in San Francisco, where they have their second child, Alfred.  Over the next few years, Lowenthal works in the mecantile field and at one point is a ladies' tailor.  During this time, he continues his partnership with Robert Green, finally selling out to him in 1897 when the property sinks to an all time low of being worth $75.


Myer and Annie have one more child, Joseph, and the family continues to do well with Myer's hard work.  By 1910, the census record records him as working in real estate.  By 1920, Myer is managing a cafe and his son Alfred is working with him.  He continues working in food service until he retires.

McLachlan

James J.

Birthdate:

3 Aug 1852

Birthplace:

Argyllshire, Scotland

Occupation:

Lawyer

Properties Owned:

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McLachlan arrived with his parents, James and Jean, and siblings  Jannette, John, Mary, and Catherine August 16, 1855, when he was three  years old.  They had been living in Argyll, Scotland, where James Senior  was employed as spirit (beverages made from distilled alcohol and  fruits, vegetables or grain...Scotland is known for its Scotch whiskey  made from distilled barley, wheat or rye..among other things!).


The  1860 census records the family living in Groton, Tompkins County, New  York.  James's father, also names James, is listed as being a farmer,  and from the looks of it, he was an extremely successful one.  The value  of his real estate is listed as $5,700 and his personal estate at  $500.  In the five years since they had arrived, two more children,  Euphemia and Archibald had been born.

Even the Civil War doesn't  seem to have affected James Senior's financial status.  The Census  record for 1870 shows that his land was now worth $9,280 and his  personal property $3,000.  With such affluence, he was able to provide a  good education for his children.


By 1880, James J. McLachlan had  graduated from Hamilton College, taught school and was elected  commissioner of schools for Groton, New York.  He also received a law  degree and practiced law for many years in Pasadena, California, finally  becoming a state senator.


According to the Biographical Directory for the United States Congress,   James came to Pasadena, California, in 1888, but there is an entry for  him in the 1888-1889 Los Angeles City Directory indicating that he is an  attorney-at-law and living at 24 1/2 Colorado in Los Angeles.  In 1887  and early 1888, the hype over the new town of Monrovia was at its  height, and McLachlan purchased property there at least in 1888 and  possibly as early as 1887 when the town was incorporated.  It doesn't  seem he ever actually lived in Monrovia.  He was living in Pasadena by  1890, according to California Voter Registration, and Pasadena City  directories indicate he continued living there at 558 S. Marengo Avenue.


Living  in Pasadena would have enabled him to be close enough to keep an eye on  his Monrovia property.  He owned three Lots 13-15 in Block B, Town of  Monrovia Subdivision from 1888 to 1911, but he never built anything on  them.  The year after he bought them, their valuation dropped from $200 a  piece to $150.  By 1903, they were each worth only $125.  This trend  reflected the "bust" in the Southern California land boom.  McLachlan,  apparently a very patient man, held on to his property all those years,  finally selling one of the lots in 1912 when the land was valued at  $3,500!!  By 1915, the other two lots were valued at $4,300 a piece.   Even after paying the taxes on the properties for all those years,  McLachlan still made money.


McLachlan served as an assistant  district attorney for the County of Los Angeles from 1890-1892, and then  was elected to the position of state congressman (Republican) to the  54th Congress (Biographical Directory).  He served from 1895- to  1897, but was not reelected for the 55th Congress.  He did manage to get  reelected to the 57th Congress and kept this position until 1911when he  lost his reelection bid for the 62nd Congress.


James J. McLachlan never married and is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California.


Source:  The information on McLachlan's political career comes from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-2005.   Washington, C.C.: Government Printing Office, 2005.  This information  was accessed from Ancestry.com on 22 March 2012 at the following URL:

http://search

Menefee

Mable C.

Birthdate:

December 7, 1883

Birthplace:

Burnet County, Texas

Occupation:

Nurse

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Mabel Menefee was born December 7, 1883, in Burnet County, Texas.  By  1900, she and her mother were living in a boarding house at 441 N.  Grand in Los Angeles.


Tax records show that  Miss Menefee  purchased Lot 17 from Cora M Graves who had only owned the property for  two years; however, she had built a house, valued at $400, on the site.   The 1911 Monrovia directory lists Mabel Menefee as living 217 E. Lime  Avenue, and her occupation is listed as “nurse.”  The 1920 directory  lists her as an office nurse for Dr. J.K. Sewall.  The 1930 census lists  the value of the house at $4,000 and Miss Menefee’s occupation as a  dental assistant.


The 1913 Sanborn map shows two dwellings on the  property, and it is likely that Mabel Menefee rented out the smaller  house which had an address of 217 1/2.  Mabel Menefee lived in the house  for 39 years until her death on July 31, 1950.


For more detailed biographical information on the Crandall and Denslow families, contact the Monrovia Historical Museum Foundation.  A fee will be charged for access to the information.

monroviahistoricalmuseum.org

monroviahistoricalmuseum@gmx.co

Mullally

Richard Henry

Birthdate:

1846

Birthplace:

Ohio

Occupation:

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Richard Henry Mullally was the son of John, a brickmaker, and his wife Nancy Jane (Vincent).  The family lived in Hamilton County, Ohio.  On 7 January 1869, Richard married Julia Speer in Hamilton, but they moved after their marriage to Covington, Kentucky, where Richard ran a grocery store.


Their first three children were born in Covington: Gertrude Edna (1869-1950, Martha Speer (1873-1950), and Clara (1876-1969).  The family was living in Los Angeles by 1879 when their only son, Kenton was born.


Richard Mullaly had several different occupations.  In 1879 he was a clerk and then an express messenger.  California Voter Registration records him living in Duarte in 1884.  One year later, Richard and Julia's last child, Maud was born.


The 1888 tax records show Richard's wife owned Lots 1-3 in Block CC in Addition #1 to the Town of Monrovia which is now 140-146 E. Maple Avenue.  These lots were valued at $250 each, and the house, which was built on Lot 2, was valued at $900, quite a nice house for 1888.  They may have found the area too expensive because in early 1889, the real estate boom of Southern California burst.  Richard Mullally's occupation is not given records around this time.  If the family had used the money from the Duarte property to buy the Monrovia property, they may not have been able to hold onto it.  The December 4, 1890, edition of the Monrovia Messenger reports the sale of the Mullally house to Dr. John Stewart who plans on moving the house elsewhere in Monrovia.


The 1892 Los Angeles City Directory lists Richard Mullally working for the railroad.  Richard's parents and uncles were living in Los Angeles by then, so there was a large family for support.  In 1905, Mullally is working for the Parks Commission.  His girls are all married, and his son Kenton is in the cigar business.  Richard Henry Mullally died on 19 February 1913.  Julia Mullally died 26 February 1936.

Newlan

Levi Jackson

Birthdate:

1830

Birthplace:

Broome County, New York

Occupation:

Blacksmith

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Levi Jackson Newlan was born in 1830 in New York, probably Broome  County.  His father Frederich, born in 1796  in Vermont, was a  blacksmith, a trade that Levi practiced most of his life.  Levi's  mother, Fanny, was born in 1798 in New York.  There are a total of six  living children listed in the 1850 census, and Levi was the third  oldest.


There are no other records for Levi until 1863, when  he is listed in the New York draft registration records.  His record  gives his occupation as "blacksmith" and indicates he is married.  Other  Civil War records show that Levi Jackson Newlan served as a farrier (a  person who shoes horses) in Company A, 25th New York Cavalry, and that  he mustered out of the military on June 27, 1865.

On July 23,  1867, Newlan receives letters of patent for a hand-tool that he has  invented.  The tool is used for cutting or trimming bolts.


The  next record, the Kansas census record for 1875, indicates he, his wife  and two sons, Charles A. and Frank Eugene,  are living in Valley Falls,  Jefferson County, Kansas.


Sometime between 1881 and 1884, the  Newlans moved to Pasadena. The 1884 California Voter Registration lists  Levi and his two sons living there.  It is unclear if his wife Jane  moved with her husband and sons, and she may have died in Kansas. His  occupation and that of his son, Charles A., is given as "blacksmith",  while his other son is a harness maker.


In 1887, the town of  Monrovia,  just a few miles east of Pasadena was established, and Levi  Newlan purchased Levi had purchased Lot 19, Block A, in the Town of  Monrovia, and built a dwelling, valued at $300 on it.  The address for  this lot was 225 E. Lime Avenue, but the house is now longer standing.   The voter registration for 1896 lists his occupation as "Tobacco and  cigar dealer", but the 1900 census indicates he was working as a  blacksmith again.  Tax and voter records indicate that Levi and his son  lived together on Lime Avenue at least until 1900.


Levi  Jackson Newlan most likely died in 1906.  Tax records for 1907 lists the  property being owned by his estate.  There are no records for him being  buried at the local cemetery, so the exact date of death is uncertain.


There  is an entry in a 1920 Monrovia city directory listing Charles A. Newlan  living at 109 E. Orange (now Colorado) Avenue.  This address was the  location of a boarding house.  There are no other records and it doesn't  seem as if Charles Newlan ever married.

Records show Frank  Eugene Newlan lived for a few years in Monrovia, but  by 1896, he was  living in Merced, California, and working as a harness maker.  He moved  around over the years living in Escondido, the Imperial Valley, Los  Angeles, and then back to Pasadena.  He died on September 1, 1941, at  the age of 81.  There is no record of his having married.

Perry

Robert

Birthdate:

16 December 1866

Birthplace:

Killeen, Down Ireland

Occupation:

Contractor

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Robert Perry is trained as a stonecutter Ireland and marries Elizabeth Agnew in 1885.

They arrive in New York with their two children in 1888 and have five more children. Though Robert easily finds work, the next fifteen years are heartbreaking for him as his wife and six of seven children are all dead by 1903.


According to documents written by Wilma Eula Phillips, wife of the only child to survive to adulthood, Robert lived in Manhattan and worked as a stonecutter. In the years he lived in New York, his projects included the following:

Grant's Tomb (1896-1897)

Flat Iron-Singer building

Stone walls in Central Park

Museum of Natural History

Stonework at front of tunnels into NY by meeting of Berger Hill tunnels. (This was before May 1908)

Grand Central Station for 5 years


On February 6, 1904, Robert Perry marries Ida Lee Vandenberg. No children are recorded from this marriage.  According to the 1905 New York census, the Perrys are living in the Bronx. There are no records after that until the Perry family shows up in the 1910 in the Monrovia Directory living at 127 W. White Oak (now Foothill Blvd.) Avenue.


As previously stated, Robert Perry is assessed for Lot 8 Block H in the Town of Monrovia Subdivision, but the property is owned by someone else by 1912.  According to various local news articles, Robert Perry, who has built other properties in Monrovia and Duarte, owes money to his contracting suppliers.  One day Perry disappears, never to be seen by Monrovians again.  His wife, on the other hand, hires an auctioneer to have a massive yard sale of the contents of the house at 122 E. Lime Avenue.  


Robert Perry had relocated to Venice, California, where he died in 1913.


Sources

1900 United States Federal Census. Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com Inc. 2009. Provo, Utah.

1910 United States Federal Census. Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com Inc. 2009. Provo, Utah.

California, Death Index, 1905-1939. Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com Operations, Inc. 2013. Provo, UT, USA.

City of Monrovia Tax Records 1912-1913. Monrovia City Hall. 415 S. Ivy Ave., Monrovia, California.

Ireland, Select Births and Baptisms, 1620-1911. Ancestry.com Operations, Inc. 2011. Provo, UT

New York, State Census, 1905. New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: A.D. 35 E.D. 39; City: Bronx; County: New York; Page: 14.

Remington

Lewis D.

Birthdate:

August 31, 1869

Birthplace:

Pontiac, Michigan

Occupation:

Physician

Properties Owned:

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Lewis Durkee Remington was born on August 31, 1869, in Pontiac,  Michigan, to William and Mary (Graham).  Lewis was the third of five  sons, and his father was a minister. 

Lewis worked in education,  serving as principal at a high school principal in Fenton, Michigan.  But his wife, Maud Lila (Holdridge) had a lung disease.  He brought her  to Monrovia, California, to be treated at Pottenger Sanitorium which  specialized in diseases of the lungs.  Unfortunately, Maud Lila died,  leaving Lewis a widower with their daughter, Beatrice Dorothea  (1904-1983).

His experience with his wife turned Lewis into a  different direction professionally.  He went to medical school and  received his MD in California in 1909.  He became an instructor of  diseases of the chest at the University of Southern California and  taught there from 1912-1915.  He went on to be a lecturer at the same  school from 1915-1916, and an assistant professor from 1916-1918. 

In  1910, he married again to Cassie A. Prentiss.  The first evidence of  them living in Monrovia is from the 1910 census.  It reports them and  Beatrice as living at 146 N. Primrose Avenue and his profession as  physician with a specialty of the heart and lungs.  Because of his  medical specialty and previous experience with Pottenger Sanitorium, he  may have been associated with the clinic and the other doctors there,  but he definitely had his own medical practice in Monrovia.  The 1911  directory for Monrovia gives his business address as 603 ½ S. Myrtle  Avenue.  Later, his practice was located at 416 S. Ivy Avenue.


He  served during World War I  in the Marine Corps.  In a transport list  (undated), his name appears in the column under sick and wounded  attached to Headquarters, 40th Division, DSO.  In another transport  list, he is listed as a captain.


According to his granddaughter, Marie,   he used the front room of the Stedman house as his office and was an  avid gardener. On his days off he would work in the yard until 11 a.m.,   then come in, shower, put his suit on, have lunch and then take fruit,   veggies or flowers to his patients.

He died on June 12, 1963, in Orange, California, at the age of 93, and was buried in Fenton, Michigan.


For more detailed biographical information on the Crandall and Denslow families, contact the Monrovia Historical Museum Foundation.  A fee will be charged for access to the information.

monroviahistoricalmuseum.org

monroviahistoricalmuseum@gmx.com