Jackson Freer, son of William H. Freer, who is represented elsewhere in this work, was born April 6, 1870, in San Jose, Santa Clara County, California. He was a twin brother of Lee Freer, a review of whom is to be found elsewhere in this volume. In 1875 he was brought to Southern California by his parents and was reared to young manhood on the parental ranch, receiving his preliminary education in the public schools and completing it in St. Vincent’s College. He remained at home with his father until he was twenty-three years old, assisting in the cultivation of
Born in Alsace Lorraine, February 3, 1842, Frank A. Forst, El Monte’s first undertaker, emigrated to America in 1863, and a short time later came to California by way of the Isthmus of Panama. Mr. Forst was the son of Joseph and Saloma Forst, who were also natives of France, and who died in that country. Educated in his native country, Mr. Forst later learned the trade of cabinet-maker and shortly following his arrival in San Francisco, he came to Southern California and settled near Savannah and engaged in his trade. In this work he was active for a number
California is justly proud of her educational advantages and facilities, which compare favorably with those of any other state of the Union. Prominent among the well-known instructors and educators, of Los Angeles County and El Monte in particular, is Professor E.A. Farrington. Mr. Farrington was born January 5, 1860, in Franklinville, New York. His father, Christopher C. Farrington, also born in New York spent his entire life in that state, the last few years of which were lived in Chautauqua. Following his early common school education, Mr. Farrington continued his studies in Ellington Academy, completing in Oberlin College in Ohio.
One of El Monte’s early settlers, a successful rancher and walnut grower, was Lewis Farmer, born in Harlan County, Kentucky, May 15, 1848. His parents were William C. and Catherine (Bronson) Farmer, natives of Kentucky; Lewis was the first-born of a family of ten children. Remaining at home until he was twenty-two years of age, Lewis Farmer obtained his education in the common school of his community and later by attending a subscription school in winder and working on his father’s farm during the summer. In 1872, he was elected county clerk of his home county and held the office
About a mile and a half southeast of El Monte may be seen one of the finest walnut groves of Southern California, the pride of its owner, William Elliott, until his death in 1913. When he purchased this property, consisting of seventy acres of wild, barren land, it gave little indication of its present beauty and productiveness. However, by a close application of the knowledge of California ranching, which several previous years had given him, Mr. Elliott made this farm one of the finest in the section. He owned three hundred and twenty-two acres all set to walnuts, which he
Alexander Elliott, a brother of William Elliott, a sketch of whom is found elsewhere in these pages, was born in 1862, in Paisley, Scotland, coming in 1867 to Ontario, Canada, with his parents, where he lived until 1884, when, with his brother William, he came to California and settled near El Monte. Mr. Elliott engaged in farming following several years employment together with his brother, William, as foreman on the E.J. Baldwin Ranch. He was successful as a walnut grower, having acquired land from the Baldwin estate and developed his holdings as the industry grew. He was for years a
James R. Durfee, successful rancher and realtor, and a native son of El Monte, was born January 22, 1874. He is the son of James D. and Diantha (Cleminson) Durfee, well known early pioneers of this district a sketch of whom is to be found elsewhere in this work. James R. Durfee, was educated in the La Puente district school, now known as the Temple School situated near the old family homestead. He remained at home until he was twenty years of age, when he married and engaged in farming for himself on about one hundred acres comprising a portion
James D. Durfee was one of the most successful farmers of this district. His fine farm is located on the Temple Road, about three miles south of El Monte. Mr. Durfee was born in Adams County, Illinois, in 1840. His father, James Durfee, was a native of Rhode Island, and his mother, Nee Cynthia Soule, was born in New York. The death of his parents occurring when he was quite young left him an orphan, and dependent upon his own exertions for support and education. He remained in the county of his birth until fifteen years of age, and then
Coming to El Monte in 1893 when twenty years of age, Afred C. Drake, has been an active worker in the development and growth of the walnut industry in El Monte. Born March 10, 1873, in New York State, he was an only son of James and Martha (Vincent) Drake, the former of whom was a native of New York and the latter of Ontario, Canada. On his arrival in California, Mr. Drake worked with his father on the latter’s ranch near El Monte, on Santa Anita Road, for a year or so, later buying a ranch for himself near
William R. Dodson for thirty-six years, proprietor of The Dodson Hotel, was born in Crawford County, Arkansas, in 1839. his father Gainaim M. Dodson, was a native of Halifax County, Virginia, who in 1833 went to Kentucky, where he married Miss Nancy P. Thompson, a native of that state, and later settled in the county in which the subject of this sketch was born. Mr. Dodson was reared upon his father’s farm until 1861, when the Civil War broke out, and early in that year he entered the service of the Confederate States as a private in the Arkansas Cavalry.