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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.
In 1888, Large was appointed one of the first school trustees, serving with W.C. Badeau, and U. Zimmerman.
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