Few early residents of El Monte and vicinity can recall more vividly their experiences or more colorfully describe events and conditions of the pioneer days than can Timoteo Repetto, who was born January 24, 1866, within a stone’s throw of the site of the old original San Gabriel Mission (first known as Mission Vieja) and situated some four or five miles southwest of El Monte. Born of Italian and Spanish parents, Timoteo Repetto is a son of Alexander and Cruy (Alvitri-Serrendell) Repetto, the former being born in Genoa, and the latter a native of California coming from one of the
The first public weighmaster in this district, is George B. Renfro, who for fifty years, has conducted a public weighing service at the same stand on West Valley Boulevard. Mr. Renfro was born on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River, in a log cabin, about fifteen miles from St. Louis, October 9, 1843. He is the son of James and Martha Renfro, natives of Illinois, and Missouri respectively. The father died in Illinois, in 1881, while he mother lived to come to California, where she died in the home of her son, the subject of this sketch in 1904.
As a well-known and highly respected rancher and dairyman, William A. Reeves, a native son of California, was also among the successful men of this community. He was born near el Monte, January 7, 1862, his parents, Samuel and Lydia (Cleminson) Reeves, being natives respectively of Kentucky and Missouri. They were the first Americans married in San Diego, the father having crossed the plains in 1849; he teamed for a time from the port of Wilmington to Los Angeles, and finally removed to El Monte and took up government land, making that place his home for a few years, when
Honored and esteemed among the citizens of El Monte from the early nineties until his death in 1924, was Dr. Elgar A. Reed, prominent physician and public benefactor. Dr. Reed was born December 13, 1865, near Cincinnati, Ohio. He was the son of Garrett and Elizabeth (Waller) Reed, natives of Ohio. The father was a lumberman whose ancestors can be traced to the early colonial days, two of his forbearers being signers of the Declaration of Independence. Elgar Reed was as a child very frail, but later overcame the affliction. He was educated in the public schools of the community
A pioneer of El Monte, Richard Quinn engaged in the management of a small ranch of eighteen acres, just south of town. He was born in Ireland, June 12, 1829, a son of Daniel and Jane (Lomasney) Quinn, both natives of Ireland, where they both died, the father at the age of sixty and the mother at the age of seventy-five; they were the parents of seven children, all of whom are now deceased. Richard Quinn was reared on his father’s farm and educated in the common schools, after which, at the age of sixteen years, he came to America.
Pleasantly remembered by many of El Monte citizens is the name of M.F. Quinn, who in the early days would frequently crowd a load of the town’s children into his spring wagon and proudly drive with them to a circus in Los Angeles, or on May Day would decorate the old lumber wagon with roses and other flowers and head a picnic party to the mountains. M.F. Quinn was born February 14, 1836, the son of Mary F. and John Quinn, natives of County Limerick, Ireland. He was left an orphan at the age of four, and became self-supporting at
Joseph Prouty was a successful pioneer, both as a prospector and rancher in the days of ’49, first near the spot where gold was first discovered in California, (Sutters Creek) and later as a rancher near El Monte. He was born February 9, 1831 near Mt. Vernon, Knox County, Ohio, his parents being Anson and Carol (Helms) Prouty also natives of Ohio. Mr. Prouty’s early life was spent at home with his parents, his education being obtained in the local public schools. He later studied law, but circumstances prevented his practicing the profession. He met with moderate success financially when but
George H. Peck, who was well known among the settlers of El Monte district in the late sixties, and for some thirty years following, was born in Burlington, Vermont, March 4, 1819. A graduate of the University of Vermont, and a law student, Mr. Peck after a few years of extended travel by land and sea, took up the practice of law in Burlington. After a few years, failing health compelled him to give up his law profession. He sought recuperation in travel, taking work instead of leisure, by shipping before the mast on several voyages, which took him to
George H. Peck, Jr., son of George H. Peck, Sr., whose biography is found elsewhere in this volume, was born in San Francisco, October 15, 1856. With a brother, John H., in 1868 he came to El Monte and started improvements on his father’s ranch, northeast of the city. Leaving his father when about nineteen years of age, George worked for a time for Dr. Geller, who owned a 400 acre ranch in this district. Mr. Peck left el Monte in about 1888, to engage in the banking business in San Pedro, and later entered the real estate business and the
One of the most enterprising and progressive ranchers of El Monte and vicinity in the early nineties and later, was Michael Osmund, a native of Farsund, Sweden. Mr. Osmund was educated in the common schools of Norway, after which he went to sea, finally locating permanently in America, where he first engaged as a lumberman. Later he followed farming in Cass County, Iowa, for some time, his mother from Sweden joining him there, and they then came to California in 1891. For a time, he was located in Pasadena, but later purchased the property consisting of thirty-five acres, southeast of El