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Lewis Joseph





Date of Death:

Place of Death:



Properties Owned:


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.

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